A New Phase of European Integration: Organised Capitalisms in Post-Ricardian Europe

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Series Title
Series Details Vol.33, No.2, March 2010, p344 – 368
Publication Date January 2010
ISSN 0140-2382
Content Type

In the past, economic integration in Europe was largely compatible with the preservation of different national varieties of capitalism. While product market integration intensified competition, member states could build on and foster their respective comparative advantage. Today, this no longer unequivocally holds true. This article contends that a new, 'post-Ricardian' phase of European integration has emerged in which the Commission's and the European Court of Justice's (ECJ's) attempts to promote economic integration systematically challenge the institutions of organised capitalism. It demonstrates this by discussing recent disputes over the Services Directive, the Takeover Directive, and company law. In the current phase of European integration, the Commission's and the ECJ's liberalisation attempts either transform the institutional foundations on which some of the member states' economic systems rely or they create political resistance to an extent that challenges the viability of the European project.

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