The Attack on the Public Sector

  • Jörg Huffschmid


The European Union (EU) has never had any formal competence with regard to private or public property in the member states. Article 222 of the Treaty of Rome of 1957 establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) states clearly: ‘This Treaty shall in no way prejudice the rules in Member States governing the system of property ownership.’ This provision has survived all subsequent changes and it is also present in the Constitution (art. III-425) which was adopted by the 25 EU governments in June 2004 and has now entered the ratification procedure. One could therefore assume that the stampede for privatization throughout the EU during the last two decades (see Hall, 1997; ÖGPP, 2003) has nothing to do with the specific structure and policies of the EEC or the EU. Such an assumption seems all the more justified, as privatization has not been confined to Europe or the EU but was and still is a worldwide process (see Megginson and Netter, 2001).


European Union Member State Public Sector Public Good European Economic Community 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Huffschmid
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BremenGermany

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