NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

EU Constitution Codifies the "Social Market Economy"

July 8, 2003

The proposed European Constitution would result in a uniform Europe-wide system of high tariffs, subsidies and unreformed labor markets, say critics.

  • Except for direct taxes and foreign policy, social and economic policies of the member states of the EU will be "harmonized."
  • Instead of providing for competition in economic policies among the nations of Europe, the proposed constitution will result in a cartel of countries constrained in their ability to reform national policies.
  • The U.S. Constitution, a 4,500-word document, fills 17 A-4 sized pages. In contrast, the proposed EU Constitution is 70,000 words and fills up 260 pages.
  • Since the powers of the U.S. government are limited under the U.S. Constitution, there is scope for competition among the states.

Critics say the European Union has missed an opportunity to reform the highly regulated economies of its member countries and has instead given Brussels the sole power to determine Europe's economic future.

Source: Marian L. Tupy (Cato Institute), "Socialism's Farewell Note," July 7, 2003, Tech Central Station: Europe.


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