Muller, Henrike. (1999) “Regulating Insurance in the EC: A Model for Global Services Liberalisation?”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)
This paper examines the European Community’s regulatory regime for insurance with a view to current efforts to achieve a greater degree of market liberalisation on the global level. It draws on Peter Holmes’ and Alasdair Young’s argument that the EU has pioneered trade liberalisation in a number of sectors, an experience which is a potential model for multicultural trade liberalisation. The paper describes the evolution of the European method of insurance liberalisation by looking first at the pre-single market stage with its focus on market access and non-discrimination within national markets. Second, the method by which insurance liberalisation was achieved as part of the single market programme is analysed: mutual recognition of standards and minimum harmonisation of rules. Progress in market liberalisation relied heavily on the development of an Article 36 equivalent for financial services. The result is a European regime with a high degree of internal variation in regulatory goals, objectives and “philosophies.” The final section looks at how far this approach lends itself to emulation at the international level. It is the contention of the paper that the scope for transposition is minimal. The EU method of insurance liberalisation is less of a model for global service liberalisation and more a lesson in the limits to cross-border liberalisation.
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