Factor Mobility, Agriculture, Environment and Quantitative Studies
Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Chapter 14: The Quantitative Effects of European Post-war Economic Integration
Harald Badinger and Fritz Breuss 1 INTRODUCTION The European Union (EU) is the most far reaching and successful integration project in history. Starting from a customs union, limited to steel and coal in the early 1950s, it evolved into a fully integrated single market, characterised by the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour, economic policy coordination in various fields, and a single European currency and centralised monetary policy in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Since its inception in 1958 the then European Economic Community expanded steadily in size. Starting with six founding members it has since increased to 27 countries. Now called the European Union, it already exceeds the United States in size, whether measured by population or by GDP. It is also the major player in world trade, accounting for 16.4 per cent of total world merchandise exports in 2007 compared with China’s share of 11.8 per cent and the US share of 11.3 per cent (Japan has 6.9 per cent). More importantly, more than two-thirds of EU27 total trade is done within its borders; only around one-third of total trade of EU member states is exposed to the trade barriers remaining after the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) Uruguay Round liberalisation agreements. Parallel to the deepening and expansion of economic integration in Europe, worldwide multilateral trade liberalisation has taken place within GATT in eight successful tariff rounds. This chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 gives a brief history of European integration post-1945....
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