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The Commission’s internal conditions for social re-regulation: Market efficiency and wider social goals in setting the rules for financial services in Europe


  • Miriam Hartlapp

    (Social Science Research Centre Berlin and University of Bremen)

  • Christian Rauh

    (Social Science Research Centre Berlin)


The European Union is often considered as a prime example of a liberal regulatory state. We argue, however, that being limited to the regulatory policy does not prevent the European Commission from pursuing political aims going beyond market efficiency. We draw up two ideal-type perspectives of market regulation – being either efficiency or equality enhancing – that differ systematically in terms of rationale, degree of intervention, patterns of stakeholder access and conflict within the regulator. We trace these aspects in three financial services initiatives on the registration and supervision of reinsurers, equal treatment in financial services and the regulation of consumer credit. Our analyses suggest that there is scope for equality-enhancing re-regulation when proactive agents proceed decidedly on the basis of social-treaty concerns and frame regulatory beneficiaries as market participants as well as when they seek the redistribution of rights instead of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Miriam Hartlapp & Christian Rauh, 2013. "The Commission’s internal conditions for social re-regulation: Market efficiency and wider social goals in setting the rules for financial services in Europe," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 2(1), pages 25-40, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:egr:ejge00:v:2:i:1:p:25-40

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George Tsebelis & Geoffrey Garrett, 2000. "Legislative Politics in the European Union," European Union Politics, , vol. 1(1), pages 9-36, February.
    2. Vogel, David, 2003. "The Hare and the Tortoise Revisited: The New Politics of Consumer and Environmental Regulation in Europe," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 557-580, October.
    3. Majone, Giandomenico, 1997. "From the Positive to the Regulatory State: Causes and Consequences of Changes in the Mode of Governance," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 139-167, May.
    4. Coen, David & Thatcher, Mark, 2008. "Network Governance and Multi-level Delegation: European Networks of Regulatory Agencies," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(01), pages 49-71, April.
    5. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    6. Höpner, Martin & Schäfer, Armin, 2012. "Embeddedness and Regional Integration: Waiting for Polanyi in a Hayekian Setting," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 429-455, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Diego Varela & Giacomo Benedetto & Jose Manuel Sanchez-Santos, 2013. "Editorial statement: The first two years of EJGE," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 2(2), pages 95-99, December.

    More about this item


    European Union; regulation; financial services; equality enhancement;

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation


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