Publications and findings

WP 7 – The Political Economy of the European Union


As the RECON project is coming to an end, the EU is inthe middle of a severe economic crisis and the future of the Euro isuncertain. Socio-economic conditions of political communities arecritical both for the national and the European levels, as we have seenunfolding in the past months. Hence understanding the nature of theseconditions and what consequences the organisation of public finance hasfor the prospects for democracy in Europe has been a key researchpriority for RECON. RECON has focused on the four economic freedoms andthe fiscal and monetary constitutional principles, which underpin the asymmetric European monetary union.


Publications and activities WP 7

A complete list of publications and presentations is available for each year of the project:

 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011

You can also try an open search in RECON’s database, or search by partner institution and name.



Selected findings from RECON’s research on the political economy of the European Union

  • Through the European Court of Justice case law, economic freedoms have been assigned primacy over socio-economic rights, reversing the post-war constitutional consensus in Europe
  • Judge-led transformation of Community law has led to a Europeanisation of socio-economic policies
  • The EU experiences an uneasy compromise between a formal preservation of national sovereignty in key fiscal policies and a substantive Europeanisation of national socio- economic orders
  • The asymmetric coupling of a federal and depoliticised monetary policy with national fiscal policies is unsustainable over time, as the eurozone crisis testifies to
  • The Europeanisation of economic and monetary policy has proceeded so far that also a Europeanisation of tax policy is necessary to sustain democracy
  • There is no single European model of welfare regimes, although forces of globalisation and the process of open coordination encourage convergence across member states


Read more on these findings in the WP 7 leaflet Nothing more political than economic policy (pdf), which presents snapshots of selected findings to practitioners and policy makers, media and informed readers, civil society actors and interest groups, as well as other ‘stakeholders’.

RECON pamphlet

Reconstituting Democracy in Europe – Snapshots of findings (pdf)

Selected findings in brief from all RECON’s research fields