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The real motive behind the ban could be detected by the fact that the farm lobby in beef exporting Ireland lobbied hard for the ban and the fact that a motive for the decision was a study performed by the Irish farm lobby18.

3.3 How the EU Promotes Competition

However, it must be noted that there are also many ways in which the EU promotes competition. This is mostly with regard to internal competition, but it also applies to a lesser extent to external competition. The latter concerns trade agreements that open up trade with various countries, such as former French colonies in Africa. Many argue that these treaties are unfair as they give preferential treatment to former French colonies over other poor countries. A good example of this is seen in how the EU gives preferential treatment to bananas from the former French colonies over bananas from Central America. These critics have a point in that the current situation is unfair to Central America, but the unfair element consists in the trade barriers against Central America, not the lack of trade barriers against the former French colonies. Limited free trade is not as good as complete free trade, but it is better than complete lack of free trade.

More important is the way in which the EU promotes competition within the EU. The EU generally forbids government subsidies of industries, though exceptions are made, most notably in the financial sector with the fear of systemic risk to the financial system. As previously discussed, state subsidies to companies will mean that less efficient companies will at least in the short-term expand at the expense of more efficient companies, which will With the introduction of the Single European Market in 1992, all internal trade barriers have been swept away, with again only a few exceptions. Among those exceptions is the retail monopoly on sales of alcoholic beverages which is motivated for public health reasons.

The benefits of the EU Single Market are estimated to be highly significant, and are estimated by the European Commission to have increased GDP by 2.15% or €240 billion per year and to




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