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Über dieses Buch

This is the first book to look at the European Union and single currency from the perspective of member-states. It offers a systematic critique of the project from the viewpoint of labor and employment.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Introduction

Abstract
Most books about Europe take the European Community (EC) or Union (EU)1 as the point of reference for an association that is composed of nation states. The literature, which is vast, tends to be descriptive, seldom interpretive or critical. Most Europeans view the EU through the lens of national culture and politics, but the national perspective is largely absent from the literature. The prevailing narrative is that of the weakening of the nation state and the growth of the EC towards ever closer union. The single currency and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) are often viewed as the last great step toward a supranational government, the culmination of a process of trade integration begun in 1957.
Bernard H. Moss, Jonathan Michie

The Single European Currency in National Perspective: A Community in Crisis?

1. The Single European Currency in National Perspective: A Community in Crisis?

Abstract
The single currency scheduled for launch in 1999 was, in the minds of many, to be the culmination of a long process of European integration leading to the formation of a supranational state. Instead, the single currency arises in a period of doubt and uncertainty for the European Community (EC)1 or Union (EU). The movement for monetary union begun under the Maastricht treaty of 1992 has paradoxically halted momentum for European unity. The European Commission under Jacques Santer has put a quietus on constructive forms of integration such as social and industrial policy. Public opinion, oblivious to the conferral of citizenship under Maastricht, has turned sceptical to the benefits of the EU, especially where Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has, by artificially raising interest rates, increased unemployment.2 By imposing a deflationary strait-jacket, EMU has stifled growth and employment and forced cuts in social expenditure, undermining the credibility of national governments and causing the worst crisis in Europe since the 1930s.
Bernard H. Moss

National Perspectives

Frontmatter

2. Economic Consequences of EMU for Britain

Abstract
This chapter is structured as follows: following the introductory section, Section 2.2 considers the experience of the ERM. Section 2.3 then analyses the Maastricht treaty while Section 2.4 sets out the economics of a single currency. The EU’s policies for jobs are discussed in Section 2.5 and Section 2.6 concludes.
Jonathan Michie

3. France: Economic and Monetary Union and the Social Divide

Abstract
France has played both a pivotal and a contrapuntal role in the development of the European Community (EC) and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Initiators of the European communities, the French were also the strongest dissenters from the market direction they took. With strong Gaullist and Communist parties, the French were sceptical of both the supranationalism and economic liberalism of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. European integration could only go so far as France, the dissenting partner, wanted. The turnabout of French policy under François Mitterrand in 1982–83, from nationalization and Keynesian reflation to deflation and competitive markets, provided the thrust for the completion of the European single market and creation of the single currency in 1992.
Bernard H. Moss

4. Hoist with its Own Petard: Consequences of the Single Currency for Germany

Abstract
The design of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), as it was conceived and decided at the Intergovernmental Conference in December 1991 and laid down in the Treaty of Maastricht, is the result of two tendencies in the European Community. In both Germany played a prominent role.
Jörg Huffschmid

5. Italy Towards European Monetary Union (and Domestic Disunion)

Abstract
The prospects for monetary union are fraught with uncertainty. Prestigious politicians, authoritative Eurocrats and austere central bankers debate whether the deficit of a given country amounts to 3.2 or 3.0 per cent of the GDP when the GDP measure itself is so vague an estimate as to make such calculations dubious. The construction of Europe has indeed been transformed into ‘a sort of parody of an accountant’s nightmare’ (Keynes, 1982, p. 241). In order to understand why things have taken this turn — and whether they are likely to get better in the future — reference must be made to the interests of those who rule the roost. This is why our chapter begins with Germany (Section 5.1). Sections 5.2 to 5.5 then discuss the long history of Italy’s wobbling public finances and their over-hasty redressment — imposed by the Maastricht criteria — which has aggravated the country’s inveterate problems, paved the way for new ones and made the political transition Italy is going through tougher and more hazardous. In particular, the deepening of the north-south and east-west economic and social divide has set in motion centrifugal forces in the richer parts of the country while creating an explosive situation in the poorer. What is at stake is indeed the very idea of a common Italian destiny.
Annamaria Simonazzi, Fernando Vianello

6. State Intervention and the Question of European Integration in Spain

Abstract
European integration and the impact of the Maastricht Treaty raise a range of issues. The emergence of a coordinated economic and political space in Europe continues to depend on the political calculations and strategies that exist at the level of the nation state. In Spain, economic and social regulation in the last two decades has depended crucially on the utilization and reinterpretation of European policy developments. Maastricht not only provides a range of policy constraints but also provides a key point of reference for the development of economic and social regulation. Hence, there are ideological and political mechanisms that need to be explained if the actual impact and politics of Maastricht, along with the broader issue of integration, are to be fully comprehended. This chapter first of all outlines the broader framework of Spanish engagement with the EU. The quest for further integration and the concept of ‘Europeanization’ are explained from the point of view of Spanish developments. The chapter then points to the difficulties that have arisen as a consequence of the emerging European discourse of deregulation within the Spanish system, which has evolved in a complex manner and lacks the stability and coherence of northern European systems of regulation.
Miguel Martinez Lucio

Europe in Crisis?

Frontmatter

7. Is the European Community Politically Neutral? The Free Market Agenda

Abstract
The European Community (EC) is usually discussed as a supranational project without reference to political orientation and purpose. The claim is made for its political neutrality as between liberals and socialists in the European tradition. Its foremost constitutional authority stresses the primacy of the free market principles, but notes that article 222 of the Treaty of Rome authorizes public ownership and suggests scope for a high degree of public intervention and indicative planning.1 Most analysts, treating the EC as either politically neutral or completely adaptable, assume that it merely reflects the preferences of its constituents, the existing balance of political and economic forces within it.2 They do not believe that it constitutes in itself, apart from the influence that the international environment may exercise on any country, a barrier to market intervention in member states. Theirs is a reflective view of base and superstructure that neglects the powerful autonomous role that EC principles, institutions and practices have had on the evolution of national economies, social coalitions and internal politics.
Bernard H. Moss

8. The Economic Limits of European Integration

Abstract
The abolition of internal tariffs in the early years of the European Economic Community failed to remove all the non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade, and consequently a single integrated market failed to emerge. After many years of making no further progress with the single market as an issue, it was revived as part of the EU’s policy agenda in 1985. The Milan European Council resulted in the drawing up of the White Paper Completing the Internal Market, setting the target date of 31 December 1992. The single market campaign saw the EU return ostensibly to its essentially economic foundations as set out in the Treaty of Rome. This was strengthened by the Single European Act, and most recently by the Treaty on European Union in which a clause calls for:
the elimination … of customs duties and quantitative restrictions on the import and export of goods and all other measures having equivalent effect … [and] an internal market characterised by the abolition of obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. (Treaty on European Union, article 3)
Yet it is clear that the 1992 project for the removal of NTBs and the creation of a single market also served the clear political purpose of advancing the aim of European unification.
John Corcoran

9. EMU and the Democratic Deficit

Abstract
Ron Todd, my predecessor as general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, once told the British TUC conference that Europe is the only card game in town. I shared that view then and I share it now. However, only a radically recharged vision can secure the backing of the people and give ‘Europe’ the momentum to fulfil its mission.
Bill Morris

10. Why ‘Employability’ Won’t Make EMU Work

Abstract
‘You could say we have rescued EMU although I would be grateful if you didn’t say it too loudly’. The remark — off the record, of course — was made to the Financial Times by one of Tony Blair’s Ministers at the European Union’s Amsterdam summit in June 1997.1 However smug, the statement is quite accurate. The language of Blairism provided a makeshift bridge between Bonn and Paris in what at one stage appeared to be a clash over European unemployment that might have scuppered the whole EMU project. French Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin had won the May 1997 election with promises to change the thrust of European integration and put jobs back on the agenda. If that meant renegotiating the fiscally restrictive stability pact — ‘an absurd concession to the Germans’, in the words of Jospin — so be it. The French unemployment rate had risen from 9.5 per cent to 12.8 per cent between 1991 and 1997, and the victory of a Left coalition that embraced the Eurosceptic Communist Party showed just how many French citizens put the malaise down to preparations for monetary union. Jean-Marie Le Pen’s europhobic and racist National Front’s 15 per cent share of the vote rammed the point home.
Andy Robinson

Backmatter

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