The policy origins of the European economic constitution

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This article traces the origins of the European economic constitution in the debate on Article 30 of the EC Treaty (general rule on the free movement of goods) between 1966 and 1969, which resulted in Directive 70/50. In this, the first archive-based analysis of the policy origins of the Court’s Dassonville (1974) decision, the article demonstrates that there was a strong continuity in the investment by a number of key actors in focusing on Article 30 to create the single market from the mid-1960s. These civil servants and lawyers provided the backbone for the Commission’s transformation of the Cassis de Dijon judgment (1979) into a powerful tool, driving back the need for legislative harmonisation and making it a cornerstone of the Single European Act of 1986. The article therefore analyses one of the key moments in the transformation of European law.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)191-205
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Law Journal
Issue number2-3
Early online date9 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018


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