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The Need for an Internal Market Ombudsman

Harris, Stephen (1999) The Need for an Internal Market Ombudsman. EIPASCOPE, 1999 (1). pp. 1-7.

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    Abstract

    [Foreword]. This article arises from private conversations with industry and other sources over the past 5 or so years about their general impressions of the workings of the European Union (EU) Internal Market. Those discussions concerned primarily the development and cementing of the level playing field in the manufacture, sale and use of products subject to EU New Approach directives intended to abolish technical barriers to trade. Those directives are made under Article 100A of the Treaty of Rome and provide a framework for the manufacture and supply of such products. Whilst the directives themselves are considered generally to be working well, making the level playing field a clearer reality is proving more troublesome. There are many possible reasons for this. One of the most likely is that serious attention is only just starting to be paid to the need for concerted action by the current 15 EU member States to ensure that measures are in place and working properly to check that directives are being fairly and evenly implemented and administered across the EU. However, who or what checks the enforcers to ensure that they understand directives’ requirements properly and place no unnecessary burdens on those affected by them? Government officials in the Member States have policy responsibility for ensuring that directives are implemented and administered faithfully. But disputes concerning a product’s right to bear the CE marking or alleged barriers to trade in such products, for example, are more likely to be referred to lawyers …… and ultimately the Courts, ending with the European Court of Justice. This is a lengthy and expensive process. Business is calling increasingly for measures to avoid such experiences; to provide faster remedies, and to weed out only the most contentious cases for consideration by the Courts. An Internal Market Ombudsman (IMO) possibly provides one remedy. Such a facility is not without precedent and could hold one of the keys to Making the Internal Market Work! Further dedicated research is required to crystallise the issues and to assist informed debate. If papers such as this start that ball rolling, they will have achieved much.

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    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Internal Market Ombudsman; New Approach directives.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > Single Market > capital, goods, services, workers
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > Single Market > general
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Journals > European Institute of Public Administration (Maastricht) > EIPASCOPE
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2003
    Page Range: pp. 1-7
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:16
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/842

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