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L'établissement des règles des marchés nationaux ou régionaux :. De l'état régulateur souverain aux organisations d'intégration régionale promotrices, protectrices et intermédiaires


  • Inge Govaere


ESTABLISHING RULES FOR NATIONAL OR REGIONAL MARKETS : FROM STATES ACTING AS SOVEREIGN REGULATORS TO ORGANISATIONS OF REGIONAL INTEGRATION SERVING AS PROMOTORS, PROTECTORS, AND INTERMEDIARIES The objective of this contribution is double. It first of all seeks to single out several important factors that may lead States to turn to regional economic integration in order to regulate their market and to protect their interests. It then examines whether and how the role of a State may further change, subsequent to the opening of the markets and the ensuing pressure of regionalisation or globalisation. The European integration process in a wide sense is taken as an example including references not only to the European Union but, also, to the European Economic Area, the Customs Union with Turquie and the Europe Agreements where relevant. In particular the following questions are addressed. What rationale has led the European States to engage in a regionalisation process ? Is European economic integration to be understood in terms of economic reasoning, for instance the necessity to prevent a regulatory race-to-the bottom or the presence of inter-state externalities ? What importance is to be given to the historical context ? Should a distinction be made between the reasons for attributing regulatory powers to the European level and those aiming to determine how and when joint regulatory competence may be exercised and controlled by the States, for instance through the principle of subsidiarity ? Can one discern an interaction between the processes of regionalisation and globalisation ? Another very important question is what dynamics have been created by the initiation of the regulatory regionalisation process itself ? It is apparent, for instance, that the internal market objective as written into the Treaty and interpreted by the European Court of Justice may have far-reaching consequences for the Member States as regulators. Attention is inter alia drawn to the implications for the legislative role of Member States of the introduction of principles, such as mutual recognition or implied powers, by virtue of case law. The complexity of the subject matter under study is illustrated by the fact that there is no unequivocal answer to the question of how the process of European economic integration is to be qualified. Is it still mainly a voluntary project to regulate the market in common or is there nowadays a necessity for European States to join a bigger market ? An answer could be that it is inherently a mixture of both but that the balance will shift according to the specific country and period under consideration. There are essentially two sets of conditions underlying European economic integration. Firstly, it is apparent that in order to benefit fully from the advantages created by the internal market and to exert an influence on its further regulatory development, a State has to manifest the political willingness to be fully associated with the European project and to transfer part of its sovereignty to the European Union. Secondly, besides the political willingness, there are important political and economic conditions that need to be fulfilled before a State may become a Member of the European Union. To the extent that either one of those conditions is lacking European economic integration will necessarily have to proceed on the basis of the so-called géométrie variable model. The classical regulatory role of the State concerned is thereby more, or less, maintained according to the solution retained. Examples of the latter include not only the Europe Agreements and the Customs Union with Turquie, but also the possibility for reinforced co-operation between the Member States and the creation of the European Economic Area. By way of conclusion it is maintained that the absence of similar conditions underlying the globalisation process makes it very difficult to merely transpose the European internal market rules and logic to a worldwide level.

Suggested Citation

  • Inge Govaere, 2003. "L'établissement des règles des marchés nationaux ou régionaux :. De l'état régulateur souverain aux organisations d'intégration régionale promotrices, protectrices et intermédiaires," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(3), pages 313-337.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_173_0313

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