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OECD Economic Surveys: European Union 2007

image of OECD Economic Surveys: European Union 2007
This survey of the European Union economy reviews the EU's economic performance and discusses the main challenges, including pushing ahead with the internal market, opening up network industries to competition, removing barriers to labour mobility, making regional cohesion policy more effective, and enhancing Europe's global role. It focuses on the common and shared policies of the Union. It complements the Euro Area Survey, which deals with monetary and fiscal policy, and the individual country Surveys that assess national policies. While many of the necessary policy changes are firmly under national sovereignty, the EU can play an important role by providing good framework conditions and continuing to enhance the internal market.

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Assessment and recommendations

It is fifty years since the Treaty of Rome was signed. The treaty created the European Economic Community, set the goal of ever closer union among the peoples of Europe and laid down the “four freedoms” where goods, services, people and capital could move freely among the member countries. The results have been impressive. It has brought prosperity, the single market for goods among 500 million consumers works fairly well, and there has been good progress in reshaping network industries and financial markets. The union has grown from 6 to 27 countries, 13 of which now share a single currency. The European Union (EU) now has a larger GDP than the United States, it is the world’s biggest exporter, and European companies are among the global leaders in most industries.

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