European Economic Community
In 1958, Britain proposed that the Common Market be expanded into a transatlantic free-trade area. After the proposal was vetoed by France, Britain engineered the formation (1960) of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and was joined by other European nations that did not belong to the Common Market. Beginning in 1973, EFTA and the EEC negotiated a series of agreements that would insure uniformity between the two organizations in many areas of economic policy, and by 1995, all but four of EFTA's members had transferred their memberships from EFTA to the European Union.
One of the first important accomplishments of the EEC was the establishment (1962) of common price levels for agricultural products. In 1968, internal tariffs (tariffs on trade between member nations) were eliminated and a common external tariff was fixed. For subsequent developments, see European Union.
See A. E. Walsh and J. Paxton, The Structure and Development of the Common Market (1968); R. C. Mowat, Creating the European Community (1973); A. M. Eli-Agraa, ed., The Economics of the European Community (1985); A. Sapir and J. Alexis, ed., The European Internal Market (1989).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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