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Is the European Community Politically Neutral? The Free Market Agenda

  • Bernard H. Moss
Chapter

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.

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© Bernard H. Moss 2000

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  • Bernard H. Moss

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