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European Union Politics

European Union Politics (7th edn)

Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán
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date: 01 June 2023

p. 29320. The Single Marketlocked

p. 29320. The Single Marketlocked

  • Michelle Egan


This chapter charts the evolution of the Single Market, from its original conception in the 1950s, beginning with the Treaty of Rome through to efforts to expand and enforce Single Market commitments in a climate of unfair trade practices and rising economic nationalism. The chapter highlights the tensions and trade-offs between legal and regulatory strategies to integrate markets; the challenges of creating a social market due to internal asymmetries between market integration at supranational level and social protection at national level; and the efforts to facilitate the free movement of goods, capital, services, and labour. The chapter highlights the importance of the Single Market in seeking to promote competitiveness and growth as well as the diffusion of its regulations beyond its borders. It concludes by demonstrating how both traditional international relations theories of integration and newer approaches in comparative politics and international relations, can be used to shed light on the governance of the Single Market.

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