Levy lecture December 7th[1]

Levy lecture December 7th[1] - Lecture notes 12/07 Social...

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Lecture notes 12/07 Social Europe Two issues: 1) European social model, 2) impact of the EU on social policy. We’re going to focus on the latter. There is a fear in Europe (as evidenced in French rejection of Constitution last year) that European integration is creating a neo-liberal model that undermines social protection. There is a certain irony to this. European integration has been constructed along Polanyi form: you create a market on the one hand, and provide protections for the vulnerable on the other. People often talk of EU as the ‘common market’. In 1960s, 1970s European countries eliminated barriers to trade. The Treaty of Rome created a common market (now the biggest market in the world - for the Germans) and a common agricultural policy (CAP - for the French). CAP sets prices to ensure European farmers can make a good living; impose tariffs if need be. A guaranteed market for European farmers: if they grew it, the EU would buy it. The CAP had some advantages: helped Europe become self-sufficient. Agriculture modernized. And, from Polanyi perspective: it allowed for peasants to move off the land and into cities slowly and peacefully . They were a vulnerable social group. Some think: the EU rescued the nation-state. Eg the French couldn’t have afforded this regime of subsidies without Europe. A second round in the mid-1980s with the single market project. Eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade: divergent product rules, health and safety, procurement rules. The ‘1992 project’. Some 300 directives passed to eliminate these barriers to trade. Two new policy tools 1.a shift from harmonization of rules on products (difficult), to mutual recognition. The idea was that the EU would set minimal standards, and so long as countries met these other countries would have to accept their products 2.move from a principle of unanimity to QMV (qualified majority voting) to enact the 300 new directives So in the mid 1980s a revival of the market-making project. Alongside the market- making project, a growth in structural and regional funds. Aid to backward regions or regions experiencing de-industrialization and crisis. These were created in the 1970s and were initially quite small (around 5% of budget), but were doubled over 5 year period leading up to 1992. The bargain was explicit: Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy threatened to block the SEA (Single European Act) unless structural funds were increased, because they expected to lose out from increased trade.
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Levy lecture December 7th[1] - Lecture notes 12/07 Social...

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