- The abolition of customs barriers to trade in the EU
- Elimination of internal borders in the EC/EU
- EU Veterinary and plant health legislation
- Customs cooperation in the EU
Before the Community treaties came into force, every European country protected its national production with customs tariffs, preventing the import of goods at prices lower than those of the national production, and quantitative restrictions, preventing the import of certain products in quantities exceeding those which were necessary to satisfy local demand not covered by national production. Thus, a country would import the quantities and qualities not normally supplied by its internal production. As industry was well protected, it saw no need to make large-scale efforts to modernise or reduce production costs. The European consumer, faced with a limited choice and high prices for low quality goods, was the main victim of this protectionism. The customs union, limited initially to the coal and steel sectors governed by the ECSC Treaty but rapidly extended to all products and services, thanks to the EEC Treaty [see section 2.1], aimed at correcting this situation.