By Ash Amin, John Tomaney
The imaginative and prescient of the unique arhitects of the ecu neighborhood was once to create a Europe of monetary prosperity and social concord. financial integration has come ever nearer, yet sustained development and a discount in social disparities noticeable as distant as ever. This publication examines the customers for the genuine harmony in Europe and locate that, faraway from promroting it, a few of the Community's present rules are divisive. The neo-liberal philosophy in the mean time is generating rules which favour really prosperous areas and significant enterprises on the fee of much less favoured areas and peoples.
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In Europe there is no prospect of social union in the foreseeable future. Welfare remains resolutely a national phenomenon, and as such the costs of monetary union will be borne by the weaker member states, which, in turn, will not be able to finance the social costs of adjustment. Through this mismatch, the possibility of reducing social disparities will become worse, as a gap grows between the rich nations, able to fund social welfare programmes and support decent employment standards, and the poor nations unable to draw on national or EU resources to raise social standards.
Thus, rather than decentralizing activities to lower-cost regions, large firms in particular might remain firmly rooted in supply-rich regions in order to continue to reap the advantages of existing economies of scale and agglomeration (see Krugman 1991). This observation is particularly important given the centrality of the promotion of scale economies on the single market agenda. It has to be asked also whether any positive gains resulting from EU regional policy in facilitating cohesion are complemented by EU policy actions designed to enhance European competitiveness.
The danger of an approach which focuses state priorities only on sections of the economy and of society capable of gaining a foothold in the global economy is that it will serve merely to strengthen the economies of the most competitive cities and regions, leaving it to the market to deal with – or exacerbate – the problems of the less favoured regions. Behind the myth of European Union 34 In terms of institution building, as well, a solution based on a partnership between Europe and the regions that sidesteps the nation state is not likely to work in favour of the less favoured regions.