A European Life: From War to Peace by Michael Tracy

By Michael Tracy

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Sample text

Up to this point, the Commission had generally sought uniform measures across the Community. This approach was justified in the early stages, when common policies had to be created and would have been undermined by too many exceptions; it was also appropriate for market regulations, where different levels of aid would cause distortion of competition. But with a wider range of Member States, and particularly where farm structures were concerned, a more flexible approach was called for. There was a legal problem in that if farmers in Denmark, for example, were unable to claim benefits that were available to farmers in other countries, they might demand redress from the European Court of Justice.

Agro” is a Greek root, fine in “agronomy”, since nomos is Greek; but “monetary” comes from the Latin moneta (as does “culture”, in “agriculture”), and requires the prefix “agri”. And so it was from then on. This linguistic matter calls to mind a little-known feature of the Council Secretariat’s work: its “jurist-linguist” group. After the Council (in whatever formation) has agreed on a Commission proposal, this bunch of remarkably gifted people set to work to produce in all the official languages the texts which will be regarded as equally authentic and published in the Official Journal.

Partly in response to Iceland’s unilateral declaration of a 200-mile zone but also in line with international developments in the law of the sea, Community Member States extended their rights to marine resources from 12 to 200 nautical miles from their coasts. This gave Britain and Ireland the largest fishing areas, but to which under the previous agreement fishermen from other Community countries would have equal access. So a new common policy was needed to manage fisheries in the expanded zone.

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