The crisis in the accumulation regime of finance-led capitalism has brought the process of European integration to an existential transformation. The historical making of a single supranational market required a common monetary arrangement in order to avoid a war based on unilateral competitive devaluations. The choice of the single currency resulted from the political compromise between social-liberal and ordo-liberal conceptions about the type of supranational government of the whole European economy. It is now broadly accepted that the single currency cannot create economic convergence without a balancing fiscal mechanism to compensate the effect of an increasingly open-trade economy. The question of a banking union together with a fiscal union and a political union for the Euro-area is now put at the heart of the European debate on economic governance. However, the core issue nowadays is not just the development of fiscal transfers through supranational investments between European countries and territories, but also the type of economic activities (agricultural, industrial, service-oriented, etc), which have to become the basis for a new strategy of development for Europe. Furthermore, for alternative economic policies the question is not just what to produce, but how to produce (public, private sectors) it and by whom (planning, large or small-middle firms) in the new post-financial-crisis global context. In sum, a new economic development model is definitively needed in Europe beyond what is currently discussed at the offices of European institutions, unable to think beyond the neo-liberal synthesis guiding the European Grand Coalition as demonstrated by the case of Greece, Portugal and other countries of the European periphery. This presentation will introduce the on-going reflections developed by Transform Europe in the special section dedicated to the European debate on productive reconstruction strategies in its recent Yearbook 2016. It will also point out to the open questions to be discussed and jointly elaborated by researchers, social movements and trade unions in their policy agenda for a new European development model.
Sigfrido Ramírez is currently a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for European Law in Frankfurt. As an economic and social historian specialised in economic policies of the European Union, he has focused on the history of competition, industrial and trade policies. Ramírez has hold research positions in universities in Italy, France, and Denmark with projects on business history, industrial economics and European integration. He coordinates the voluntary researchers network (Akademia) created by Transform Europe for individual cooperation with scholars. He is a member of the Editorial board of its Yearbook and a founding member of its working group on productive transformation.