Scharpf: The eurocrisis as a victory of neoliberalism?

From the paper:

The EU’s Single-Market legislation, the Commission’s competition policy, and the ECJ’s progressive extension of the domain of economic liberties have had a liberalising and deregulatory impact on the economies, societies and institutions of EU member states. And the ‘conditionalities’ imposed in response to the eurocrisis on the recipients of rescue credits are even more direct in their liberalizing impact. Like the supply-side programs which Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had adopted in the 1980s, they insist not only on fiscal austerity but also on a wide range of ‘structural reforms’ requiring liberalisation, deregulation, privatisation, tax cuts, welfare cutbacks, wage cuts and union busting. It seems reasonable to ask, therefore, whether the Monetary Union itself should also be seen as part and parcel of a general neoliberal thrust of European economic integration. On a superficial level, one might even consider conspiracy-theoretic explanations suggesting that the anticipation of this outcome should also have motivated the policy makers that brought it about. In fact, however, the story is more interesting.

Available for download here.

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