Structural Policies: Weak and Market Biased

  • Jörg Huffschmid


Structural policies had an ambiguous position during the first stages of the European construction. No provision had been made in the Treaty of Rome, except for the agricultural sector. The only policy mentioned was competition policy, as the result of a Franco-German compromise. The rules of competition policy applied both to businesses, where the Common Market was concerned, and to national governments, in order to avoid state interventions that would alter the nature of the competition game on the market as a whole. In practice, Community monitoring worked relatively pragmatically. From the 1960s to the 1970s, the number of state interventions was greatly increased following the economic crisis. Apart from the CAP, at Community level, numerous structural interventions were decided, most often under the pressure of events concerning:
  • Declining sectors such as the steel or shipbuilding industries, where restructuring policies were carried out under the Commission’s control from the mid-1970s; but also the clothing-textile sector where the Commission often exerted its nit-picking control of national aids and had difficulty in stimulating common actions.

  • The high-tech sectors where practices and results were very uneven, from the nuclear industry where the failure of Euratom was obvious in the 1960s to the aerospace industry where results have been generally beneficial thanks to the setting up of agencies with their own budgets and carrying out their own projects, without forgetting the failures in the computing industry.


Industrial Policy Competition Policy Regional Disparity Structural Fund Fiscal Decentralization 
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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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