The Single Market Project as a Response to Globalisation: The Role of the Round Table of European Industrialists and other non-state Actors in launching the European Union's Internal Market (1983-1992)

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    Abstract

    When globalization hit Europe from the early 1980s onwards, it first and foremost took the shape of sharply increased East-Asian and American competition. The two sectors to be hit hardest were the automobile industry and consumer electronics. Pehr G. Gyllenhammar of Swedish car maker Volvo and Wisse Dekker of the Dutch electronics giant Philips, joined forces for the sake of a rescue operation for their beleaguered companies. By founding the Round Table of European Industrialists (RTE), they launched the first pan-European non-governmental driving force for the sake of overcoming the continent’s economic fragmentation. True, since the Summer of 1968, the economies of the member-states of the European Economic Community (EEC) were formally united in the EEC’s Customs Union. A plethora of Non-Tariff Barriers to trade (NTBs), however, had made free cross border trade in Europe a farce.
    The success of RTE’s campaign for the establishment of the EU internal market was the result of its effective cooperation with other NGOs, notably the Action Committee for Europe (ACE), comprising senior men of state, and with the Kangaroo group, uniting members of the European Parliament, as well as the ascendance of a new European Commission under the presidency of Jacques Delors. By establishing a pro-Single Market network of networks, RTE and its coalition allies managed to set the agenda, in convincingly proposing policy options for overcoming market fragmentation and promoting arguments for institutional change in a way that would steer Europe’s national preferences formation and intergovernmental discourse towards making the Single Market its first and foremost priority.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReshaping Europe
    Subtitle of host publicationTowards a Political, Economic and Monetary Union, 1984-1989
    EditorsMichael Gehler, Wilfried Loth
    Place of PublicationBaden-Baden
    PublisherNomos
    Chapter11
    Pages209-226
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-7489-0785-5
    ISBN (Print)978-3-8487-6674-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Keywords

    • The making of the Common Market, non-state actors,
    • Philips
    • RTE
    • Second Action Committee
    • Kangarou Group

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