Will There be a Single European Community Insurance Market after 1992?

Pool, William E. | January 1, 1989

There is a great deal of talk nowadays within each of the twelve Member States of the European Community, and outside too, about 1992. People are saying: “We must be ready for 1992, when the barriers will fall, and the Community’s single Internal Market will come about.” It all makes splendid headlines for the press, and it has caught the public’s imagination. Nothing is new, of course, about the idea of creating a single Common Market among the Member States. Doing so is a fundamental objective of the Treaty of Rome of 1958, which founded the European Economic Community (“EC” or “Community”). Indeed, much has already been done to bring about a single Common Market. As part of this continuing project, the Community, consisting of twelve sovereign Member States with widely different traditions of insurance practice and regulation, intends to create a single insurance market — something the United States has never achieved — by the end of 1992. Can it be done? And what will the consequences be, not only for Europe but also for the rest of the world? This Article provides some of the answers. Before examining recent developments, we will first focus on the objectives of the Community and then briefly glance at the more distant past.