THE integration of the industrialised economies of France, Germany, Benelux and Italy into a customs union and, potentially, a political union, has proved a sometimes contentious issue for the remaining countries of Western Europe. The history of Britain’s relations was, to say the least, chequered, through both domestic factors and the opposition of France to British membership. The acceptance of Britain’s application, together with those of Ireland and Denmark (and Norway who subsequently withdrew after a bitter referendum) was eventually achieved only in 1972. The Community’s relations with other Western European countries have been determined by a variety of measures. Norway, along with the other remaining members of EFTA signed individual free trade agreements with the Community in 1972. Several of the less-developed countries of Southern Europe signed Association Agreements; those between Greece and Turkey and the Community envisaging eventual membership of the Community; those with Cyprus and Malta the establishment of a customs union. Spain and Yugoslavia signed only preferential trade agreements.
KeywordsFree Trade Agreement Custom Union Community Policy Free Trade Area Active Labour Market Policy
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