Economic reciprocity in the EU
in Towards a just Europe
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This chapter addresses the question, does the duty of economic reciprocity apply to the EU? The author analysis three main features of the economic structure of the EU: the common market, the single currency, and freedom of movement. He contends that the patterns of economic specialization resulting from the combined effect of EU integration and globalization created a “distributive vicious circle”, which hinders worse-performing member states from improving their condition. He argues that the current design of the common market and the Eurozone are partially responsible for the practices of “social dumping” in the Union, as well as for the levels of indebtedness faced by a number of member states – despite the fact that poor policy choices also played a role. Accordingly, he claims that the burdens of integration should be fairly shared by all member states. In addition, he argues that free movement creates a number of social risks for mobile EU workers. Realizing the principle of non-discrimination implies making the opportunities of the common market accessible to all, which, in turn, requires a degree of redistribution. This chapter introduces a number of policy proposals, including a coordinated EU minimum wage, a minimum EU corporate tax rate, and an EU Fund for Global Competitiveness.

Towards a just Europe

A theory of distributive justice for the European Union

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