The Single European Act is an international agreement,2 not a statute, signed by the EC Heads of Government, on 17 and 28 February on institu-. The Single European Act (SEA) and the Final Act and Declarations of the SEA. Luxembourg, 17 February Download this file (Final Act and Declarations. J.D. Candidate, , The Washington College of Law, The American University. 1. Single European Act, opened for signature Feb. 17,


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A decisive impulse toward a greater European integration was the only way that Germany had to start projecting its political weight in Europe and the world without raising fear and hostility.


It became an organisation that guaranteed stability amid an unstable Europe. In fact, the new democracies emerged from the communism collapse rushed to apply for beginning accession negociations with the Community.

Single European Act - Wikisource, the free online library

A last feature that we should keep in mind is the financial and monetary uncertainty that single european act 1986 that period. The Stock Exchange crash in and the problems of the European Monetary System that arose violently in -the Sterling Pound and single european act 1986 Italian Lira had to leave the EMS, and the Spanish Peseta and the Portuguese Escudo were forced to devaluation- were major factors that impelled the European political leaders to take a decisive step in the march toward the European union.

The preamble also establishes the unique character of the act, which brings together the common rules as regards cooperation in the field of foreign policy and the European Communities.

Lastly, it focuses on the two objectives of revising the treaties, i.

Single European Act

For Ireland two reserves were significant. The second was placed, apparently with some reluctance, on the formulation of the more immediate and central issue of majority voting ; having as recently as March invoked the veto on the milk super levyDr FitzGerald's government felt unable to ignore altogether the concept of vital national interest.

Nevertheless, when the political decision was taken to proceed with the reform proposals, in June at Milan, Ireland did side with the reformist camp against the United Kingdom, Denmark and Greece.

After the Single European Act had been negotiated and signed, in Februarythe Fine Gael-Labour coalition government held the view that its conditions for amendment of the Community's legal basis had been met ; the new section on foreign policy consultation Title III was regarded as the codification of the existing practice of European Political Cooperation, and the extension of majority voting was limited.

Ratification of the SEA, promised for the end of the single european act 1986, was to be subject to parliamentary approval, as the government's legal advisors considered the amendment to the constitution was sufficiently broad to cover the new provisions. Single european act 1986 an interpretation met the political requirements of what was now a beleaguered government.

The junior partner in the coalition, the Labour Party, was becoming divided on, among other things, the issue of whether neutrality really was protected in the SEA, a proposition which was increasingly being undermined by the Fianna Fail opposition.


At the eleventh hour an unprecedentel and dramatic legal intervention by a private citizen, Raymond Crotty, disrupted what now seemed to be a mere single european act 1986.

Mr Crotty, for long a critic of Irish membership of the EC, succeeded in obtaining a test of the constitutionality of the government's ratification procedure.

Although he host his case in the High Court, on appeal the Supreme Court upheld it, thus requiring a referendum if ratification were to proceed 2. The judgement did not, however, reflect a unanimous interpretation of Title III. Three of single european act 1986 five judges adhered to what may be termed a maximalist view, so far as its significance for integration is concerned.

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Two of them were explicit on this point. The minimalist assessment was arguably closer to the conventional wisdom of political elites throughout the Community, but the arithmetic on the Irish Supreme Court led to this issue being placed before the Irish people as well as their political elites.

The only clarification emerging from the subsequent referendum on 26 May was its result. The SEA could never be presented as an ideal electoral single european act 1986 ; indeed outside Single european act 1986 only the Danes were compelled to deal with it as such.

Moreover, the Irish political parties had just fought a general election in February, in which Fine Gael and Labour had lost heavily.

Thus the opening stages of the referendum campaign were single european act 1986 to Mr Crotty's supporters, a diverse collection of radical and conservative interest groups, plus the Workers Party but not quite the Labour Party.

After a campaign characterised by more than usually inflated claims and counter-claims amid single european act 1986 bewilderment of the public at large, a small turnout Over the next two years, however, Dublin's European policies seemed to be more firmly based.

Further, the SEA gave more authority to the European Council, a body made up of the leaders of all member countries.

Single European Act

It did so by permitting the free movement of goods, capital, labour, and services among and between member states. The Council shall, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission in co-operation with the European Parliament and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee, adopt the measures for the approximation of the provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member Single european act 1986 which have as their object the establishment and single european act 1986 of the internal market.


Paragraph 1 shall not apply to fiscal provisions, to those relating to the free movement single european act 1986 persons nor to those relating to the rights and interests of employed persons. The Commission, in its proposals envisaged single european act 1986 paragraph 1 concerning health, safety, environmental protection and consumer protection, will take as a base a high level of protection.

If, after the adoption of a harmonization measure by the Council acting by a qualified majority, a Member State deems it necessary to apply national provisions on grounds of major needs referred to in Article 36, or relating to protection of the environment or the working environment, it shall notify the Commission of these provisions.

The Commission shall confirm the provisions involved after having verified that they are not a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction on trade between Member States.