The New European Economy Revisited

The New European Economy Revisited

The New European Economy Revisited

The New European Economy Revisited


This book examines the political economy of the European Union and the process of economic integration in Western Europe. It argues that a regional economy is rapidly taking shape and that, in the process, economic order in Europe is also changing. It identifies the distinguishing features of this new European economy and the main challenges for the future.

This third, revised edition contains a full discussion of the enlargement of the EU and its recent incorporation of new nations. It examines aspects of this enlargement in a new chapter on regional and structural issues, with a complete explanation of EU regional policy. In addition, the coverage of monetary union issues is fully revised to include events up to the end of 1995, and provides a considered analysis of the probability of monetary union and its likely timescale. Finally, a new section on EU social policy enables students to receive an introduction to an increasingly important aspect of the EU impact on the lives of its citizens.


The first edition of the New European Economy came out in 1991. It attempted to capture the new phase of European integration marked by the internal market programme, an ambitious budgetary deal with a significant redistributive dimension, and an ever-expanding agenda in which social policies and monetary union began to feature. Markets responded favourably (almost enthusiastically) to European political initiatives. High investment ratios and rapid economic restructuring were the main characteristics of the second half of the 1980s. Those economic developments were taking place against the background of dramatic political changes on the European continent, following the collapse of communist regimes and the disintegration of the old Soviet empire. the European Community (the term generally used to refer to the three existing Communities until then) appeared as the only solid piece of the European architecture.

The book had a strong policy orientation; economic issues were therefore examined in their political context. It was also an attempt to present a synthetic view of the many different aspects of regional integration, which required a dangerous kind of navigation between the Scylla of overgeneralization and grand theorizing on the one hand, and the Charybdis of narrow empiricism on the other. the book argued that the continuous expansion and deepening of regional integration already justified the use of the term 'European economy' which was qualitatively different from the set of highly interdependent national economies we had known until then; hence the title of the book.

It was, perhaps, inevitable that the book would, to some extent, reflect the mood of its time. the 'Euro-scepticism' of the early 1980s had been quickly swept away by strong waves of optimism and euphoria which were characteristic of both political and business circles, apparently working together in harmony and thus providing the necessary ingredients for a new virtuous circle of economic growth and further integration. the book did not, however, adopt a starry-eyed approach to the future of European construction. It pointed to the overselling of the internal market programme, the elements of instability in monetary integration, and, even more importantly, the widening gap between economic and political integration.

The events of the early 1990s had a sobering effect: Maastricht had a difficult birth, European populations showed hardly any enthusiasm for the newborn, while international markets openly challenged the official plan for an economic and monetary union. and the economic environment deteriorated rapidly. the second, revised edition of The New European Economy appeared in 1993 in times . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.