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Programming the Common Market: The Making and Failure of a ‘Dirigiste’ Europe, 1957–1967

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 May 2021

Hugo Canihac*
Affiliation:
Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles, Boulevard du Jardin Botanique, 43, 1000, Bruxelles, Belgium

Abstract

This article contributes to the debate about the history of the political economy of the European Economic Community (EEC). It retraces the efforts during the early years of the EEC to implement a form of ‘European economic programming’, that is, a more ‘dirigiste’ type of economic governance than is usually associated with European integration. Based on a variety of archives, it offers a new account of the making and failure of this project. It argues that, at the time, the idea of economic programming found many supporters, but its implementation largely failed for political as well as practical reasons. In so doing, it also brings to light the role of economists during the early years of European integration.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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49 A feeling shared by those involved in this project. See ‘Entretien avec Michel Albert par Éric Bussière, Ghjiseppu Lavezzi et Émilie Willaert’ (Histoire interne de la Commission européenne 1958–1973, 2003), HAEU Florence.

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87 Pierre Drouin, ‘Une nouvelle phase du Marché commun’, Le Monde, 24 Dec. 1966.

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89 However, he was not entirely hostile to some kind of planification. ‘Entretien Avec Raymond Barre par Marie-Thérèse Bitsch, Éric Bussière et Ghjiseppu Lavezzi’ (Histoire interne de la Commission européenne 1958–1973, 2004), HAEU Florence.

90 Canihac, Hugo, ‘Walter Eucken in Paris? The Introduction of German Ordoliberalism into French Economic Debates (1945–65)’, Revue Européenne Des Sciences Sociales, 55, 2 (2017), 237–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

91 Brigitte Gaïti, ‘L’érosion discrète de l’État-providence dans la France des années 1960: Retour sur les temporalités d'un “tournant néo-libéral”’, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 201–2, 1 (2014), 58–71.

92 Caldari, ‘From “Planning” to “Programming”’; Maes, ‘The Ascent of the European Commission as an Actor in the Monetary Integration Process in the 1960s’.

93 Official Journal L 063, 05/03/1974, 74/122/EEC, Council Decision of 18 Feb. 1974 setting up an Economic Policy Committee.

94 Maes, ‘The Ascent of the European Commission as an Actor in the Monetary Integration Process in the 1960s’.

95 On these continuities see Warlouzet, Governing Europe in a Globalizing World; Warlouzet, , ‘The EEC/EU as an Evolving Compromise between French Dirigism and German Ordoliberalism (1957–1995)’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 57, 1 (2019), 7793CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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