Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Review of Economic Perspectives

Národohospodárský obzor; The Journal of Masaryk University

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.50

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.262
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.516

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 14, Issue 4


EU as a Highly Competitive Social Market Economy –Goal, Options, and Reality

Václav Šmejkal / Stanislav Šaroch
Published Online: 2015-01-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revecp-2015-0006


In paragraph 3 of its Article 3, the Treaty on European Union (TEU) requires the EU to go after the goal of a highly competitive social market economy for the first time. It is noticeable in the aforementioned Treaty clause that although it deals with the EU internal market, its authors burdened it with a mission that is far more socially-oriented than market-oriented. However, is „a highly competitive social market econo-my“ of today a meaningful goal and does the EU in its present form have the project and powers to achieve such an objective? The paper is a combination of economic and legal -political analysis through which the authors try to answer three main questions: What is the contemporary meaning of the term “social market economy” in the both economic and EU-law academic theory? Can the EU within the powers conferred to it positively fulfill such an objective, or can it just approach it by weakening the still pre-vailing tendency towards liberalization and deregulation brought about by the construc-tion of the EU internal market and by the promotion of its freedoms?

Keywords: European Union; Lisbon Treaty; social market economy; social policy

JEL: F15; I38


  • ALESINA, A. (2006). Europe. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://www.nber.org/reporter/summer06/alesina.htmlGoogle Scholar

  • BALDWIN, R. (2005). The royalty of CAP madness. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://www.voxeu.org/article/royalty-cap-madnessGoogle Scholar

  • BALDWIN, R. (2008). Globalisation as the great unbundling(s): What should governments do? Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://www.voxeu.org/article/making-globalisation-work-skills-families-unions-and-welfare-state.Google Scholar

  • BALDWIN, R., WYPLOSZ, Ch. (2012) The Economist of European Integration. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education.Google Scholar

  • BARNARD, C., DEKAIN, S. (2012). Social Policy and labor Market Regulation. In Jones, E., Menon, A., Weaterhill, S. The Oxford Handbook of The European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • BÉNASSY-QUÉRÉ, A., COEURÉ, B., JACQUET, P., PISANI-FERRY, J. (2010) Economic Policy, Theory and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 4-9.Google Scholar

  • BLANCKE, H.-J, MANGIAMELI, S. (2013). The Treaty on European Union (TEU) A Commentary. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar

  • BLANPAIN, R. (2013). The Treaty needs to be amended. European Labour Law Journal, 4 (1).Google Scholar

  • BLINDER, A. (1997). Is government too political? Foreign Affairs, 76 (6), pp. 115-126.Google Scholar

  • BLINDER, A. S., (2006). “Offshoring: The Next Industrial Revolution?” Foreign Affairs, 85 (2), pp. 113-128.Google Scholar

  • BLINDER, Alan S., (2008). “Offshoring, Workforce Skills, and the Educational System.” In Virtual Global Economic Symposium.Google Scholar

  • BLOOM, N., KRETSCHMER, T., VAN REENAN, J. (2006). Work-Life Balance, Management Practices and Productivity. In International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms. University of Chicago Press, pp. 15-54.Google Scholar

  • BORSCH-SUPAN, A. Savings in Germany-Part 1: Incentives. In Public Policies and Household Savings. University of Chicago Press, pp. 81-104.Google Scholar

  • BUECKER, A. (2013). A Comprehensive social progress protocol is needed more than ever. European Labour Law Journal, 4 (1).Google Scholar

  • BUTI, M. (2014). A consistent trinity for the Eurozone. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://www.voxeu.org/article/consistent-trinity-eurozoneGoogle Scholar

  • COSTAMAGNA, F. (2011). The Internal Market and the Welfare State after the Lisbon Treaty. Research Paper Observatoire Social Européen No. 5. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.ose.beGoogle Scholar

  • Council of the European Union. (2007). Brussels European Council, Presidency Conclusions 11177/07 REV 1, Brussels.Google Scholar

  • CRAIG, P. (2013). The Lisbon Treaty - Law, Politics, And Treaty Reform, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • DAGILYTE, E. (2012). Social Values in The European Union: Are They Becoming More Important After the Lisbon Treaty? In Europe on the Strand, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, London: King's College.Google Scholar

  • DAMJANOVIC, D. (2013). The EU Market Rules as Social Market Rules: Why the EU can be a social market economy. Common Market Law Review, (50).Google Scholar

  • DE GRAUWE, P. (2013). “Design failures in the Eurozone: can they be fixed?” European Economy, Economic Papers No. 491.Google Scholar

  • ETUC Joint Declaration ETUC/EUCDW, (2010). “For a social Europe and a social market economy” Brussels. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/ETUC-EUCDW_Papier-Endfassung_final_8_Feb_10_1.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • EUCKEN, W. Zásady hospodářského řádu. Praha: Liberální institut 2004.Google Scholar

  • European Parliament (2008). Committee on Constitutional Affairs. Report on the Treaty of Lisbon. (2007/2286(INI)).Google Scholar

  • FALKNER, G. (2008). EU Policies in the Lisbon Treaty: A Comparative Analysis. Working Paper No 03/2008. Austrian Academy of science.Google Scholar

  • Final report of Working Group XI (2003). Social Europe CONV 516/1/03, Brussels, Retrieved March 12, 2014, fromGoogle Scholar

  • http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs_all/committees/conv/20030206/cv00516-r1.en03.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • GRIMMEL, A. (2013). The European Court of Justice growing role in the domain of fundamental rights is not a sign of judicial activism, but political insufficiencies. EROPP - European Politics and Policy, LSE London.Google Scholar

  • HAY, C., WINCOTT, D. (2012). The Political Economy of European welfare Capitalism. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

  • House of Lords, European Union Committee (2008). The Treaty of Lisbon: an impact assessment Vol. I: Report, HL Paper 62-I.Google Scholar

  • JOERGES, C., ROEDL, F. (2004). Social Market Economy as Europe's Social Model? EUI Working Papers Law No. 2004/8 Badia Fiesolana, San Domenico.Google Scholar

  • KINDLEBERGER, Ch.,P. French Planning. In Planning in Individual Countries. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pp. 279-303.Google Scholar

  • KLAUS, V. (2011). Je evropská unifikace (a záměrné oslabování států) řešením nebo spíše krokem ke stále se zvětšujícímu problému? „Challenging Prospects”, Vídeň, from http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/2760Google Scholar

  • KLAUS, V. (2013). Evropská ekonomika a její perspektivy. Praha: Kongresové centrum ČNB.Google Scholar

  • KRABEC, T. (2003). Ordoliberalismus a sociální tržní hospodářství. Politická ekonomie, 6, pp. 881-889.Google Scholar

  • KRABEC, T. (2004). Německé zkušenosti z hospodářsko-politického poradenství. Politická ekonomie, 6, pp. 677-691.Google Scholar

  • KRABEC, T. (2006). Teoretická východiska soutěžní politiky. Praha: Národohospodářský ústav Josefa Hlávky.Google Scholar

  • MICOSSI, S., TOSATO, G.I. Eds. (2009). The European Union in the 21ts Century, Brussels: CEPS.Google Scholar

  • MOUSSIS, N. (2011). Access to European Union, Law Economics Policies 20th Ed. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.europedia.moussis.eu/books/Book_2/Google Scholar

  • MÜLLER-ARMACK, A. (1974). Genealogie der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft. Switzerland: Haupt.Google Scholar

  • MURRAY, Ch. Příliš mnoho dobra. Praha: Občanský institut 1998.Google Scholar

  • Official Journal of the European Union, 47. (2004). Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2004:310:SOM:en:HTMLGoogle Scholar

  • O'GORMAN, R. (2011). The EHCR, the EU and the Weakness of Social Rights Protection at the European Level. German Law Journal, 12 (10).Google Scholar

  • PARIS, P., WYPLOSZ, Ch. (2014). PADRE: Politically Acceptable Debt Restructuring in the Eurozone, In Geneva Special Report on the World Economy 3, ICMB and CEPR.Google Scholar

  • PELKMANS, J. (2010). How social the single market? CEPS Commentary, Brussels: CEPS. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http//:www.ceps.euGoogle Scholar

  • PISANI-FERRY, J. (2012). “The euro Crisis and the new Impossible Trinity.” In Moneda y Credito 234.Google Scholar

  • ROTH, F. (2009). The Effect of the Financial Crisis on Systemic Trust. Intereconomics, July/August 2009, pp. 203-208.Google Scholar

  • SCHARPF, F. W. (2010). The Socio-Economic Assymetries of European Integration or Why the EU cannot be a „Social Market Economy. In Swedish Institute for European European Policy Studies, European Policy Analysis, (10).Google Scholar

  • SCHOEMANN, I. (2010). The Lisbon Treaty: a more social Europe at last? ETUI Policy Brief, European Social Policy, (1), Brussel.Google Scholar

  • SOJKA, M. (2010). Dějiny ekonomických teorií. Praha: Havlíček Brain TeamGoogle Scholar

  • SYLLOVÁ, J., PÍTROVÁ, L., PALDUSOVÁ, H. a kol. (2010). Lisabonská smlouva, Komentář, Praha: CH BECK.Google Scholar

  • ŠPIDLA, V. (2009). Social aspects of the Lisbon Treaty. Speech in the European Parliament, Brussels.Google Scholar

  • WEISS, M. (2013). The Potential of the Treaty has to be used to its full extent. European Labour Law Journal, 4 (1).Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-01-29

Citation Information: Review of Economic Perspectives, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 393–410, ISSN (Online) 1804-1663, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revecp-2015-0006.

Export Citation

© 2014 Václav Šmejkal and Stanislav Šaroch. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in