economic policies, like Portugal, the French speaking regions of Belgium and northern Sweden didn’t experience any boom of that kind.
EU farm policy limits competition both within the EU and with the rest of the world. It limits competition within the EU by the extensive use of production quotas to prop up prices in areas such as milk, sugar and grains. It limits competition with the rest of the world through the use of tariffs as well as quotas and other non-tariff barriers.
The EU’s trade policy limits global competition in three ways. One is through the aforementioned farm policy which first of all subsidizes EU farm products and so makes it more difficult for non- EU farmers to compete. The second is through taxes on imports, commonly known as tariffs. The average EU import tariff is now 4.1%, down from 6.9% in 199515. However, that level differs widely between different products and different countries. For many products and countries (which includes many former French colonies) no tariffs at all are applied, while for many other products, often farm and textile products, tariffs are substantially higher than 4.1%
The third way in which trade is restricted by the EU is through the use of quotas and other non- tariff barriers. The most conspicuous example of this was the quotas imposed on textile imports from China in 2005, quotas that have now expired16. Another form of non-tariff barrier consists in requiring exporters to the EU to fulfill requirements which ostensibly have other purposes than restricting trade, but which in reality is often motivated by a desire to restrict trade. One example of this was the ban on the import of Brazilian beef in January 200817. The official reason for this was that Brazilian authorities did not track and supervise Brazilian farms in the way that EU authorities does with EU farms in order to prevent diseases, notwithstanding the fact that Brazil has not had the same kind of problems with for example Mad cow diseases that the EU has experienced.
15 http://sreichenberger.newsvine.com/_news/2008/11/25/2148953-eu-trade-policy-liberal-or-protectionist http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2007-10/10/content_6162349.htm http://www.javno.com/en/economy/clanak.php?id=119160 16 17