45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The removal of internal customs barriers, the introduction of Euro and the suppression of frontier controls (Schengen treaty), joined with the enlargement of number of Members from 15 up to 25 represent the most meaningful aspects of the integrating process between the Countries of European Union before the forthcoming European Constitution. The actual configuration of the Union still completed the initial plan of a "Common Market”, obtained introducing some complying elements in the course of time. The last step of this integrating process was represented by the adoption of a common currency that really transformed the Union area in a unique market. The adoption of a common currency represented the main care versus the integration process. The reason of this care is that it really represents the first step towards the giving up of some intrinsic privileges in the sovereignty of a State. These steps are (and will be) requisite for a full achievement of the European Union aims. Nevertheless, some recent national events showed how much that unconfessed fear was undoubtly well-grounded. A first unexpected effect of the introduction of Euro is the possibility to outline all the persistent differences between States in a more effective way. These differences enable also to identify the heterogeneous conditions of economic, political, social and cultural behavior of each Country. The increased effectiveness of Internet made this evaluation more simple, enabling to consider the whole virtual environment as an immediately reachable place to obtain information, services and goods from sources that are distributed in all over the world. The aim of this paper is to outline that the homogeneity of internal market of European Union is still not completed showing some specific examples. A further attempt is to identify some factors of persistence of the still existing differences between European Countries.