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Advanced Introduction to European Union Law

European Union Law

Jacques Ziller

This book explains how member states of the EU confer powers to the Union through the founding treaties and the legal frame applicable to the Union’s institutions, and the rules that apply to their functioning and the legal review of their action. It reviews the main fields of action of the EU – the internal market, area of freedom, security and justice, external action – and how law is shaping them. The interaction between the EU and its member states is also explained.
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The internal market

Jacques Ziller


is the greatest achievement of the EU, considered as a worldwide model of deep regional integration. The area of the internal market, which also includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as members of the European Economic Area (EEA), hosts more than half a billion inhabitants (this will be less if the UK is no longer included), making it the third largest market worldwide. Turkey, with about 83 million inhabitants, may be added as it is part of the EU customs union.

Whether the internal market should be considered as the utmost height of regional integration or as a building block towards some kind of “United States of Europe” has been debated since the time of the SEA of 1986. The Brexit debate from 2016 onwards has shed light on the fact that even the EU concept of an internal market is not one that is unanimously shared, because it greatly limits member states’ discretion in managing immigration.

In the words of Article 26(2) TFEU, which stem from the SEA, “[t]he internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties”. This wording summarises the doctrinal synthesis of the rules of the EEC treaty on the customs union, elimination of quantitative restrictions between member states, right of establishment, and free movement of workers, services and capital. The idea of the EEC treaty was to have a...

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