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International Competition, Supranational Integration, National Solidarity: The Emerging Constitution of "Social Europe"

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Streeck,  Wolfgang
Regimewettbewerb und Integration in den industriellen Beziehungen, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Streeck, W. (2001). International Competition, Supranational Integration, National Solidarity: The Emerging Constitution of "Social Europe". In M. Kohli, & M. Novak (Eds.), Will Europe Work? (pp. 21-34). London: Routledge.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-5419-7
Abstract
The article focuses on international competition, supranational integration and national solidarity in Europe. Whatever other consequences European integration may have had, it has vastly increased the competitiveness of the European economy. Competition is a pervasive social force. Not only do its effects extend far beyond the firms and sectors directly exposed to it, but they are beginning to transform the institutional base and indeed the very concept of social solidarity. There is no reason why Europe, in spite of its high labor costs, should not continue to have highly profitable firms and industries even in a global economy. But there is also no doubt that the internationally exposed manufacturing sector of the European economy will in future absorb only a declining share of the European workforce. In fact, where restructuring in response to the new competitive conditions is successful, it entails the ruthless elimination of slack, above all of surplus labor.