Have “European politics” and EU policy making replaced the politics of member state countries?
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the ways in which the European Union (EU) is influencing policy making in EU member states. It covers the historical development of the UK, France and Germany. There is evidence to suggest politics and economic policy making in these countries are now similar particularly in the areas of adopting anti inflationist strategies and opening up markets. However, some differences remain particularly regarding the flexibility of labour markets in the various member states. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the various components of integration theory and incorporates also a business history approach. Findings – The main findings indicate that the EU is gradually having more influence over member states, newer areas of development include social policy, immigration and an increasing neoliberalist approach towards opening new markets. However, countries are still given some flexibility, for example, there are still a number of countries not yet willing to join the Euro currency. Originality/value – The paper illustrates the important role of the EU in formulating policy for member states in today's increasingly competitive business environment. Business needs to be fully aware of these implications in order to become more successful while operating in the expanding European market.
Economic policy, European Union, Immigration, Social policy
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