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Christian Schweiger

Abstract

This article provides a critical analysis of the scope and the internal dynamics of the EU-27 Single European Market (SEM) policy framework, which is characterised by the intrinsic tension between application of hard deregulatory strategy in the area of market liberalisation and the soft approach of the Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC). The latter acknowledges the diversity of national socio-economic models and reluctance of member states to transfer key areas of economic and social policy-making to the EU level. It instead concentrates on promoting best practice on the basis of policy exchange and learning and the overall framework targets set out in the Lisbon Strategy. The lack of commitment amongst member states towards applying the OMC and the Lisbon targets as a basis for national policy development illustrates that the Commission has yet to achieve a consensus amongst the EU-27 member states on common economic and social policy priorities. In the wake of the global economic crisis the SEM policy agenda therefore risks being reduced to a market liberalisation programme with waning levels of support from citizens and national administrations.

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Article Keywords

European Union, Single Market, Open Method of Coordination, Lisbon Strategy,

Section
Research Articles
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