The Challenges of a United Europe for the Flavor and Fragrance Industry

Many months ago, when I selected the title "The Challenges of a United Europe for the Flavor and Fragrance Industry," there was little expectation of the repercussions for the Maastricht Treaty and the collapse of the European monetary system. Perhaps someone suggested I should change my talk to the "Challenges of a Disunited Europe," which I have resisted. The pace of unification, however, has at least temporarily slowed down, and the unification with East European countries has slowed down even more.

On September 10, 1992, in one of his campaign speeches, President Bush suggested that the US create a free trade zone with Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. This was rather odd considering, for example, that Czechoslovakia's exports to the US now amount to only 2.5% of its total exports, with over half of its exports and those of Hungary going to Western Europe. Vaclav Klaus, prime minister of the Czech Region, commented it would be "absurd" to create a free trade zone with the US before creating one with Western Europe.

On the other hand, a Hungarian official said the idea could be “an acceptable alternative” if it appeared that Hungary’s European integration would take too much time, underscoring tbe slow pace of Western European/Eastern Europan integration, and prodding the EC to act faster.

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