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Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(3), 131-146; doi:10.3390/socsci2030131

The European Social Market Model in Crisis: At a Crossroads or at the End of the Road?

University of Szeged Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Kálvária sgt. 1, Szeged, H-6722, Hungary
Received: 23 May 2013 / Revised: 19 June 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
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Abstract

The European Union (EU) can be regarded as one economic region and this way its competitiveness can be defined and examined. However, there are huge tensions within the European region that raise questions about whether there exists a European economic region and thus “European competitiveness” at all. Unlike some of its largest competitors, Europe still has not overcome the financial and economic crisis that burst out in 2008. In fact, Europe is now struggling with its own crisis, being rather a new chapter than the natural continuation of the global processes. The whole story of the European integration has been the story of economic and social cohesion. In this respect, there does exist a European social market model. But there is a huge dilemma related to this model that has to be faced: on one hand, high European social standards can only be met if competitiveness is maintained but, on the other hand, these expectations on behalf of European societies appear as a mere disadvantage in cost-competitiveness in the global arena. The issue is complex and calls for balanced and sophisticated thinking. In this sense, European competitiveness is the competitiveness of the whole European social market model—highly challenged these days. View Full-Text
Keywords: European integration; Eurozone; competitiveness; crisis; economic and social cohesion European integration; Eurozone; competitiveness; crisis; economic and social cohesion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pelle, A. The European Social Market Model in Crisis: At a Crossroads or at the End of the Road? Soc. Sci. 2013, 2, 131-146.

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