From Social Competition to Social Dumping

Edited by: Jan Buelens, Marc Rigaux

The European economic unification - mainly inspired by a neoliberal philosophy - has made a lot of victims. The realization of the single market has come about without any adjusting or accompanying economic and social policies. Its effects on social and human relations go far beyond the economic and commercial domains its authors had in mind. It has In fact led to changes in European society that are so far-reaching that they could very well be qualified as mutations. These changes are apparent at three levels: the primary economic level, the social level and finally the general or societal level. At the primary economic level the establishment of the single market has given rise to increased, extensive and often harsh competition between the various economic actors, prompting the creation of bigger companies and frequently damaging the local economies and SMEs. Thus, the unification has produced a torrent of restructuring operations, many resulting in loss of jobs or in delocalization and transfers of jobs. The competitive violence to which the European undertakings have been subjected has been reinforced by the Union's and the Member States' accession to the Free Trade Treaty that established the WTO. This accession has led to the globalization, in fact and in law, of certain markets, thus pushing the economic pressure on the European entrepreneurs and employers to the limit. This trend has come about without any major accompanying economic policies, resulting in the creation of an environment that is adverse to the reinforcement of the industry in Europe. Indeed, by choosing a largely monetary-oriented economic approach the European institutions have contributed to the destabilization and weakening of the European economic actors which, in some cases, resulted in a considerable increase of unemployment. The bank crisis has furthermore reinforced the lack of adjusting economic policies. A failure which has resulted in social massacres in Spain, Greece and Portugal. (Series: Social Europe, Vol. 35) [Subject: Politics, Economics]

Publication Date: 4/1/2016
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781780683522