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The double asymmetry of European integration: Or: why the EU cannot be a social market economy

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  • Scharpf, Fritz W.

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 socioeconomic 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

  • Scharpf, Fritz W., 2009. "The double asymmetry of European integration: Or: why the EU cannot be a social market economy," MPIfG Working Paper 09/12, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgw:0912
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    1. Marlene Wind & Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen & Gabriel Pons Rotger, 2009. "The Uneven Legal Push for Europe," European Union Politics, , vol. 10(1), pages 63-88, March.
    2. Ahlquist, John S. & Breunig, Christian, 2009. "Country clustering in comparative political economy," MPIfG Discussion Paper 09/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    3. Emiliano Grossman, 2006. "Europeanization as an Interactive Process: German Public Banks Meet EU State Aid Policy," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 325-348, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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).
    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.

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