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A New Phase of European Integration: Organized Capitalisms in Post-Ricardian Europe


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  • Höpner, Martin
  • Schäfer, Armin
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    In the past, economic integration in Europe was largely compatible with the persistence of different national varieties of capitalism. While product market integration intensified competition, member states could build on and foster their respective comparative advantage. To date, this no longer unequivocally holds true. We contend that a new, 'Post-Ricardian' phase of European integration has emerged in which the Commission's and the ECJ's attempts to further economic integration systematically challenge the institutions of organized capitalism. This quest for liberalization has reached a point at which its output legitimacy is increasingly uncertain. As a result, the de-politicization of EU decisions proves increasingly unsuccessful. In addition, liberalization measures rely on a very generous interpretations of the 'four freedoms' that exceeds the amount of liberalization the member states agreed upon in the European treaties and, therefore, lacks input legitimacy. We show this by discussing recent struggles over the Services Directive, the Takeover Directive, and company law. In the current phase of European integration, the Commission?s and the ECJ's liberalization attempts either transform the institutional foundations on which some of the member states' economic systems rely or they create political resistance to an extent that calls into question the European project. The case studies reveal evidence for both of these possibilities. -- In der Vergangenheit war die europäische Wirtschaftsintegration mit der Fortexistenz unterschiedlicher Kapitalismusmodelle in Europa vereinbar. Angesichts verschärfter Konkurrenz auf den Produktmärkten konnten sich die europäischen Volkswirtschaften auf ihre komparativen Vorteile konzentrieren und diese im Rahmen ihrer jeweiligen Funktionslogiken fortentwickeln. Wir argumentieren, dass die europäische Integration in eine neue, 'post-ricardianische' Phase eingetreten ist, in der diese Logik nicht mehr gilt: Die Integrationsversuche von Kommission und Europäischem Gerichtshof zielen nunmehr direkt auf die Transformation der Institutionen der organisierten Kapitalismen. Mit Output-bezogenen Argumenten lassen sich diese Liberalisierungsversuche immer weniger legitimieren; folglich erweist sich die Depolitisierung europäischer Entscheidungen als zunehmend erfolglos. Gleichzeitig beruhen die Liberalisierungsversuche auf extensiven Interpretationen der 'vier Freiheiten' und gehen damit über das in den Verträgen vereinbarte Maß hinaus, sodass ihnen an Input-Legitimität mangelt. Dies zeigen wir anhand von Fallstudien über die Dienstleistungsrichtlinie, die Übernahmerichtlinie und die Neuinterpretation der Niederlassungsfreiheit. Es existieren zwei mögliche Folgen dieser Integrationslogik: Entweder erweisen sich die Integrationsversuche als erfolgreich, was fundamentale Veränderungen der Funktionslogiken der organisierten Kapitalismen zur Folge hat; oder sie rufen ein Maß an politischem Widerstand hervor, der den Fortgang des europäischen Projekts in Frage stellt. Wie wir zeigen, gibt es empirische Anzeichen für beide dieser Möglichkeiten.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 07/4.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:p0077

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    1. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
    2. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2006. "Dimensions of politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7750, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Cited by:
    1. James Caporaso & Sidney Tarrow, 2008. "Polanyi in Brussels: European institutions and the embedding of markets in society," RECON Online Working Papers Series 1, RECON.
    2. Höpner, Martin & Petring, Alexander & Seikel, Daniel & Werner, Benjamin, 2009. "Liberalisierungspolitik: Eine Bestandsaufnahme von zweieinhalb Dekaden marktschaffender Politik in entwickelten Industrieländern," MPIfG Discussion Paper 09/7, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.


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