Chapter 1: The harmonisation of the internal market
The ‘establishment of the common market is intended to remove barriers to intra-Community trade with a view to merging national markets into a single market achieving conditions as close as possible to those of a genuine domestic market’. Harmonisation in this area can take two forms: positive and negative integration. While the former ‘introduces certain standards believed to be reasonable across the Community, negative harmonization rules out certain national standards as being excessive’, allowing, in their place, trade to flow freely. Negative harmonisation is thus ‘naturally biased in favour of trade and leads to deregulation over time’. A vigorous application of the Treaty provisions on free movement as tools of ‘negative integration’ greatly diminishes the need to rely on ‘positive integration’ for the completion of the market-building process. Indeed, extending the scope of the free movement rules has a corresponding impact on the harmonisation process: the ‘more that national barriers are, first, vulnerable to attack and, secondly, ruled unjustified under the law of free movement, the greater the scope for deregulation and inter-jurisdictional competition under the framework of “negative law”, and the less extensive the need for harmonisation’.
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