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The Asymmetry of European Integration - or why the EU cannot be a Social Market Economy

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  • Fritz W. Scharpf

Abstract

Judge-made law has played a crucial role in the process of European integration. In the vertical dimension, it has greatly reduced the range of autonomous policy choices in the member states, and it has helped to expand the reach of European competences. At the same time, however, Integration through Law does have a liberalizing and deregulatory impact on the socio-economic regimes of EU member states. This effect is generally compatible with the status quo in Liberal Market Economies, but it tends to undermine the institutions and policy legacies of Continental and Scandinavian Social Market Economies. Given the high consensus requirements of European legislation, this structural asymmetry cannot be corrected through political action at the European level.

Suggested Citation

  • Fritz W. Scharpf, 2009. "The Asymmetry of European Integration - or why the EU cannot be a Social Market Economy," KFG Working Papers p0006, Free University Berlin.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:kfgxxx:p0006
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    Cited by:

    1. Wilhelm Lehmann, 2011. "Electoral Representation at the European level and its Institutional Design: A reappraisal of recent reform plans," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 23, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    2. Niclas Meyer, 2018. "EU break-up? Mapping plausible pathways into alternative futures," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 136, European Institute, LSE.
    3. Rutger Claassen & Anna Gerbrandy & Sebastiaan Princen & Mathieu Segers, 2019. "Rethinking the European Social Market Economy: Introduction to the Special Issue," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 3-12, January.
    4. Alber, Jens, 2010. "What - if anything - is undermining the European Social Model?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2010-202, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    5. Laurent Warlouzet, 2019. "The EEC/EU as an Evolving Compromise between French Dirigism and German Ordoliberalism (1957–1995)," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 77-93, January.
    6. Marie-Ange Moreau, 2011. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Marie-Ange Moreau (ed.), Before and After the Economic Crisis, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.

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