Edited by Inge Govaere, Reinhard Quick and Marco Bronckers
Chapter 9: The EU and Free Trade: Can We Still Afford It?
Gérard Depayre* Born under the auspices of free trade, and a key actor with the United States in the post World War II efforts to liberalize international trade, the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union,1 has been one of the main beneﬁciaries of the liberalization of trade. 9.1 BORN UNDER THE AUSPICES OF FREE TRADE The very creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1952 and of the EEC in 1958, which required the elimination of restrictions on trade among the six original members, involved a liberalization without precedent of international trade in Europe. This coincided with the major effort undertaken since 1945 by a number of countries, led by the United States – as part of the broader plan to rebuild the international economic system (Bretton Woods agreement of 1944) – to liberalize trade and create a more open international trading system through the establishment of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947).2 * The author wishes to express his gratitude to members of the law ﬁrm Gide Loyrette Nouel for their support. 1 First called the European Economic Community by the Treaty of Rome, then referred to as the European Communities following the Merger Treaty of 1965, it became the European Community in 1993 and the European Union in 2009 with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. For the sake of simplicity, we shall refer here to the EC for developments relating to the past, and to the...
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