3 Winners and Losers . . .

For many years, talking about winners and losers in European integration was not considered the done thing. It was surely not politically correct. After all, integration was meant to be about fundamentals, such as peace and democracy and, though to a lesser extent, welfare; and they could all be more safely secured through close cooperation (many preferred the word integration) across national borders. National elites, at least in the six founding members, quickly espoused this kind of logic, learning some hard lessons from the bitter experience of the first half of the twentieth century. Social Democrats joined Christian Democracy in supporting the European cause; dissenting voices became few and far between, and were often treated as eccentrics and more often branded narrow-minded nationalists, which they usually were. Thus, talking about possible losers would risk undermining the consensus. After all, post-war states had developed many ways of compensating losers within their borders.

Economists discovered in economic integration a rapidly growing field for their theories and their empirical studies, but they were hardly trained to deal with distributional issues. Their attention was concentrated on economic efficiency and Pareto-optimal situations. For most, redistribution, when necessary, was supposed to be delivered by an imaginary benevolent dictator. Thus, the question of winners and losers hardly appeared in earlier economic studies on the effects of regional integration. But over time a growing minority of economists began to rise to the challenge.

The conspiracy of silence was first broken by the British in the 1970s. Unhappy with the deal they had been forced to accept as the price for joining,

-43-

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What Kind of Europe?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • What Kind of Europe? iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1: What Kind of Europe? 1
  • Part I Taking Stock 11
  • 2: The Gap Between Politics and Economics—or, Perception and Reality 13
  • 3: Winners and Losers . . . 43
  • 4: And the Rest of the World 66
  • Part II the Main Challenges Ahead 93
  • 5: Economic Governance and Policy Choices 95
  • 6: Emu: A Unifying Factor 142
  • 7: Extending Pax Europea 167
  • Part III Conclusions 201
  • 8: What is at Stake? 203
  • Select Bibliography 223
  • Figures and Table 232
  • Abbreviations 233
  • Index 235
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