European Industrial Policy as a Non-Tariff Barrier

This article explores the contradictions between the industrial policies of the EU and EU national states and the Single Market program of elimination of NTBs (non-tariff barriers). The scope of NTBs connected to European industrial policy is divided into two spheres: the first are barriers on the level of Member States and the second are barriers on the EU level. On the national level, after the 1992 programme the EU Member States continued to adopt many technical national regulations. On the EU level, measures such as new standards, environment and anti-dumping rules as well as Community expenditures in the different funds constitute new NTBs. Moreover, external competitors have to face other NTBs, such as VERs (Voluntary export restrictions), biased rules on public procurement, ecolabeling, and limitations on ownership, among other barriers. In this essay it is demonstrated that the EU and the European national states run an active, unofficial industrial policy that distorts both internal and external competition. The paper concludes that EU industrial policy is not harmonised with the Single Market.

  • Authors: Gilberto Sarfati
  • Year: 1998
  • Organisation: EIOP
  • Publisher: ECSA-A
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