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The European Social Market Model in Crisis: At a Crossroads or at the End of the Road?


  • Anita Pelle

    () (University of Szeged Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Kálvária sgt. 1, Szeged, H-6722, Hungary)


The European Union (EU) can be regarded as one economic region and this way its competitiveness can be defined and examined. However, there are huge tensions within the European region that raise questions about whether there exists a European economic region and thus “European competitiveness” at all. Unlike some of its largest competitors, Europe still has not overcome the financial and economic crisis that burst out in 2008. In fact, Europe is now struggling with its own crisis, being rather a new chapter than the natural continuation of the global processes. The whole story of the European integration has been the story of economic and social cohesion. In this respect, there does exist a European social market model. But there is a huge dilemma related to this model that has to be faced: on one hand, high European social standards can only be met if competitiveness is maintained but, on the other hand, these expectations on behalf of European societies appear as a mere disadvantage in cost-competitiveness in the global arena. The issue is complex and calls for balanced and sophisticated thinking. In this sense, European competitiveness is the competitiveness of the whole European social market model—highly challenged these days.

Suggested Citation

  • Anita Pelle, 2013. "The European Social Market Model in Crisis: At a Crossroads or at the End of the Road?," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-16, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:2:y:2013:i:3:p:131-146:d:27173

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alin Opreana & Diana Marieta Mihaiu, 2011. "Analysis Of European Union Competitiveness From A New Multidimensional Model Perspective," Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 6(4), pages 68-83, december.
    2. Francesco Ricci & Marios Zachariadis, 2008. "Longevity and Education: A Macroeconomic Perspective," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 1-2008, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcell Zoltán Végh, 2014. "Has Austerity Succeeded in Ameliorating the Economic Climate? The Cases of Ireland, Cyprus and Greece," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(2), pages 1-20, June.
    2. Tomislav GLOBAN & Marina MATOŠEC, 2016. "Public Debt-to-GDP Ratio in New EU Member States: Cut the Numerator or Increase the Denominator?," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 57-72, September.
    3. Anita Pelle & Renáta Laczi, 2015. "Inclusive Society as a Necessary Condition for Knowledge-Based Competitiveness in the European Union," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 13(4 (Winter), pages 307-329.

    More about this item


    European integration; Eurozone; competitiveness; crisis; economic and social cohesion;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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