IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Setting the Scene: How did Services get to Bolkestein and Why?


  • Bruno de Witte


This paper traces the origins of the recently adopted general services directives of the European Union, and addresses the question why such an important piece of internal market legislation was adopted so recently, and anyway well after the 1992 deadline for the completion of the internal market. It argues that piecemeal liberalisation of services has occurred on a regular basis ever since 1992. For each of those specific service directives, the EU institutions decided on the appropriate regulatory mix between liberalisation and targeted harmonisation. This regulatory mix was largely abandoned in the Commission’s original proposal to introduce the country-of-origin principle across all services covered by the directive. It is argued in this paper that this regulatory shift was ill-advised and explains the strong political resistance which the original ‘Bolkestein’ draft encountered from the side of other political and civil society actors, leading to a rather different outcome in the final version of the directive.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno de Witte, 2007. "Setting the Scene: How did Services get to Bolkestein and Why?," EUI-LAW Working Papers 20, European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euilaw:p0085

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Schwartz, 2013. "Why the Euro Failed and How It Will Survive," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 33(3), pages 521-534, Fall.

    More about this item


    harmonisation; provision of services; negative integration; positive integration; regulatory competition;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:euilaw:p0085. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Machteld Nijsten). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.