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L'avenir de l'Europe : l'ambition d'un autre contrat social

  • Jean-Paul Fitoussi

[eng] Europe's future: the ambition of a new social pact Jean-Paul Fitoussi Official speeches notwithstanding, the ambition of social Europe is being redefined to accommodate efficiency criteria and the requirements of globalization. This paper argues that the consensus emerging from the various recent European conferences is more directly inspired by the previous two decades of turmoil than by the search for social cohesion. Indeed the conditions of European growth have been drastically altered by new behaviors of economic agents — most notably wage earners — since the « end of inflation », and by the creation of the euro. In this context, the challenges facing Europe in the future — globalization, the new technological « revolution » — represent new opportunities. Efficiency is not the only criterion to evaluate structural reform. However, Europe is still facing a serious problem of sovereignty, which constitutes her major weakness and prevents her from launching more ambitious structural reforms. JEL code : F 02 [fre] L'ambition de l'Europe sociale, malgré les discours, est en voie de redéfinition, pour mieux satisfaire des critères d'efficacité et d'adaptation à la mondialisation. Cet article montre que le programme consensuel qui émerge des conférences européennes, même s'il tente de prendre aussi en compte les exigences de la cohésion sociale, est davantage adapté à la période de turbulences que l'Europe a traversée dans les deux dernières décennies qu'à la période qui s'ouvre devant nous. Nous abordons trop souvent nos réflexions sur l'avenir avec des réflexes hérités des temps de crise. Or les conditions de la croissance européenne ont radicalement changé sous l'effet d'une part de l'adaptation des acteurs depuis la « fin de l'inflation » — notamment des salariés — et d'autre part de la création de l'euro. Les défis que l'Europe doit affronter pour l'avenir — la mondialisation, la « révolution » technologique — représentent, compte tenu de ces conditions nouvelles, autant d'opportunités. Il est d'autres critères possibles pour évaluer la réforme structurelle que celui de la seule efficacité. Mais l'Europe reste confrontée à un problème de souveraineté qui constitue sa principale faiblesse, et qui l'empêche de s'engager dans des réformes structurelles de plus grande ambition.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 75 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 165-182

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_2000_num_75_1_1631
Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.2000.1631
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/ofce

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  1. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5571, Sciences Po.
  2. Philippe Martin, 1997. "The Exchange Rate Policy of the Euro: a Matter of Size?," Working Papers 1997-06, CEPII research center.
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The selection principle and market failure in systems competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19854, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "Single Peaked Vs. Diversified Capitalism: The Relation Between Economic Institutions and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jean-Paul Fitoussi, 2000. "Payroll tax reductions for the low paid," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5572, Sciences Po.
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