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The idea of a single united Europe might never have risen if it had not been for the devastation left by World War II. After the war, economic unity became a very appealing concept. The Western European countries were no longer a great power; France and England lost most of their African and Asian Colonies and Germany was divided in two. As this was all taking place, the United States and Soviet Union quickly emerged as the world?s leading powers causing the European countries to be economically dependent on them. In order to promote economic stability after World War II, ten European countries set up the Council of Europe in 1949. This council did not focus on national defense or military activities but instead attempted to unify the members in order to improve their economic well being. As time passed, more countries joined bringing the number up to twenty-three. In 1950, a French statesman named Jean Monnet, promoted the idea of unification based on economic needs of European countries. Monnet approached France?s foreign minister, Robert Schuman, with an idea of uniting France and Germany?s coal and steel resources. Schuman liked the idea and had him draft a document known as the schuman Declaration. This declaration put France and Germany?s coal and steel productivity under the same authority. By 1951, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland and West Germany had all signed the Treaty of Paris which established the European Coal and Steel Community. The ECSC allowed workers from any member country to work in any other member country. By 1957, after the huge success of the ECSC, the six member countries decided to expand their cooperation by signing the two Treaties of Rome. The first treaty established the European Economic Community which removed barriers between the member countries that consumed money and time. The second treaty established the European Atomic Energy which allowed the member countries to work together to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The ECSC, Euratom, and EEC eventually merged into one administrative system know as the European Community which was later joined by Great Britain, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and eventually East Germany after it merged with West Germany. During the 1960?s and 1970?s, cooperation among the member countries was not very successful. Member countries could not put the needs of other member countries before theirs. If a country felt that a proposed ruling would harm its own economy it would not accept it. In the 1970?s after a recession and the sharp increase of the cost of oil, many member countries imposed border taxes and trade quotas in order to protect their economy. By doing so, they undid the unification process which took a long time to accomplish. In the 1980?s a new drive came about to reunite Europe after the countries were recovered from the recession. The Single European Act was introduced to reform the original treaties and completely eliminate barriers to create a single unified market. For that reason, the Single Market legislative program, the most ambitious and comprehensive ?supply side? program ever launched in the world, has tremendously increased production, boosted competition and reduced prices which increased demand to help stimulate the growth of the European economy and enhance the living standards throughout Europe.
In order to put the Single Europe Act into effect, the first task of the member countries was to eliminate all barriers. The broadest barriers have been, as you might expect, those which have been set up by the governments. Although some travelers within the European Union may still occasionally experience some delay at the Union?s internal borders if the immigration officers chose to examine their passports or perform spot checks on them for drugs or other controlled substances, routine frontier controls on goods have completely been eliminated. ?Europe?s traders and road haulers now have a clear run through internal EU borders, saving them time and money?(Monti 14). Before 1993, every truckload of goods had to stop at the internal EU borders for customs and tax clearance, and sometimes even for inspection. This took place even when some goods were already cleared before they were shipped. On January 1 1993, when the customs checks within EU countries were abolished, 60 million customs forms were saved which caused 62% of the 13, 500 companies responding to the Eurostat survey to benefit from the end of the border delays. Other than that, abolition of routine border controls reduced costs for Europe?s traders and road haulers by more than 5bn a year. Except it wasn?t only customs controls which had to be eliminated, in fact technical barriers such as rules and regulation proved to be more ?pervasive? (Monti 23) barriers to trade than customs controls. But these barriers cannot be abolished like so many unneeded customs posts. It is crucial to have some technical rules and regulat
Names mentioned in this term paper
Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, schuman,
Organizations mentioned in this paper
European Union?s, European Community, European Union, European Coal and Steel Community, European Atomic Energy, United Nations,
Locations included in this paper
all Europeans, United States, Japan?s, West Germany, Belgium, Portugal?s, France?s, Germany?s coal and steel productivity, Soviet Union, Rome, Denmark, Luxembourg, Paris, Great Britain, Athens,
Facility referenced in this research material
European Central Bank,
Keywords included in this research material
single market, European Union, goods and services, the european union, european community, United States, the european community, currency, living standards, World War II, a single, competition, price level, European Central Bank, Single European Act, European Union countries, single european market, European economy, european coal and steel community, European Economic Community, united europe, EU countries, rules and regulations, single currency, common currency, European Monetary System, newly industrialized countries, currency exchange, customs, third world countries, United Nations, legislative program, Prime Minister, long run, West Germany, internal market, unified market, euro notes, triangle, EU members, Soviet Union, Spanish Prime Minister, economic stability, Jose Maria Aznar, recession, member states, schuman declaration, economic sanctions, Japan, health and safety,