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Free movement in European Union

The development of the European Union has not lead to the creation of a single European Law replacing the national laws. Instead the European Union focuses on the harmonization of national laws only to the extent that is required for the functioning of the Common Market and the principles of free movement. In many fields, the Member States maintain thus different legislations, creating a competition between their legal systems.

Taking example on the case law in the field of free movement, explain whether you think that this legislative competition creates a "race to the bottom", i.e. weakening legal protections and guarantees, or a "race to the top".

The book as support is "EU Internal Market Law, by Gareth Davies, 2nd Edition, London: Cavendish.

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In the field of free movement, I think that the legislative competition in Europe has created a race to the bottom. I agree that the development of the European Union has led to the weakening of the legal protections and guarantees. Race to the top is out of the question.

Reasons for the race to the bottom:

What happens is that those employees who are economically active want to move to those states of the EU that provide regulatory environments that protect their interests. This in turn leads to a competition among the states to pass laws that would attract mobile individuals. The trade off is that welfare measures of those countries suffer. However, there is large number of individuals who cannot migrate. This may be because of economic, cultural or language barriers. Even those who are old and are not wanted for employment may not be able to move from one country to another. These are the weaker sections of the societies and their rights and interest suffers in the rush for enacting ...

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