Barriers to the Single European Market (SEM)
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In 1992 the Single European Market (SEM), based on the Single European Act 1986 (SEA 1986), was due to take effect in the European Union (EU). The SEA 1986 provided four basic freedoms in order to accomplish the SEM without internal frontiers: the freedom of goods, capital, service and the free movement of people. Since then, the SEM has proved a remarkable development prompting some scholars to suggest that the EU is like a country in terms of economy. A great deal of debate has focused on whether the EU is (or is able to develop into) an economic or political union. If the EU currently falls short of political union, is there any chance to develop into a political union in a near future? In order to answer this question I, in light of neofunctionalism, began to consider whether the SEM was fully established in the EU, because the contents of the four basic freedoms, looked at as a whole, including the freedom of people especially, are not less than a political union. If the answer is positive, I can say that political union is a reality and that the neofunctionalist propositions are correct. If not, the proposition that economic spill-over will produce a political spill-over proves defective in areas. This thesis therefore consists of four main chapters, each having three subsections: the freedom of goods, freedom of capital, freedom of service and the free movement of people. Chapter 1 deals with the question of whether the freedom of goods is distorted by either tariff or non-tariff barriers. Chapter 2 is devoted to resolving the issue of whether the freedom of capital is fully guaranteed both in domestic and in international level. Chapter 3 discusses whether the Union is entitled to provide a Union level mechanism, to enable the freedom of services to fully take root. Finally, I ask whether people, as social beings rather than just individual members, have full freedom to move within the union without any distortion either by social benefit, ethnicity, or language.