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Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook

Ed. by Ziegler, Dieter

CiteScore 2018: 0.06

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.115
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.203

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Volume 49, Issue 2


What Italian business disliked about a European common market

Francesca Fauri
Published Online: 2016-08-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/jbwg.2008.49.2.39


The possibility of enlarging Italy’s export market was the key factor that made industrialists repeatedly express their consent for a unified market, even in their earliest statements on the matter. The great majority of Italian business declared itself in favour of a united market dependent upon a given set of conditions: gradual abolition of tariffs, leveling of production costs among members, free circulation of workers (as well as of goods and capital) and inclusion in the Treaty of Art.109 on the resumption of tariff controls or measures of safeguard where a sudden crisis in the balance of payments occurs.

The policy of Italian business towards EEC integration in those years was the result of a compromise between protectionist sectors (small-medium firms) on the one hand and, on the other, firms belonging to the so-called automobile cycle (Fiat, Pirelli etc.) and the engineering sector, whose growth had been led by export demand and favoured opening up the Italian economy to international competition.

Once the Treaty of Rome was signed, there were issues that Italian industrialists did not like. However, on the whole, participation was never called into question and, despite a few skeptical voices, Italian business valued European integration as a unique opportunity to enlarge the market, increase foreign demand and improve competitiveness. The Italian economic miracle had begun to take shape.

Keywords: Italian business; European integration; EEC negotiations; foreign competition; harmonisation

About the article

Published Online: 2016-08-13

Published in Print: 2008-12-01

Citation Information: Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, Volume 49, Issue 2, Pages 39–52, ISSN (Online) 2196-6842, ISSN (Print) 0075-2800, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/jbwg.2008.49.2.39.

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