This page presents the latest updates about the work-in-progress of the EURECON team, its publications and presentations.
in Le Mouvement Social, n°275, 2021, pp.137-152
Abstract – This paper explores the forgotten history of the European labour movement’s struggle for a “workers’ Europe” during the 1970s and early 1980s, and in particular its efforts to build a European-wide trade unionism capable of supporting its proposals on employment and working time reduction. The paper first traces the emergence of the alternative project of European unity that the trade unions formulated in the 1970s, and the movement to build a unitary and combative trade unionism on a European scale. Secondly, the article reveals the struggle of the European trade union movement for a generalised reduction in working time in western Europe, through a twofold effort consisting of institutional lobbying and building a transnational mobilisation of workers – admittedly, on a fragile and limited basis. Thirdly, the paper sets out to examine the failure of this unprecedented struggle and to assess the main reasons for it in order to better understand the affirmation of another kind of Europe, that is, an increasingly neoliberal Europe in which full employment, economic solidarity, and the improvement in working and living conditions for the masses became, at best, a secondary objective.
in Business History, published online 2022
Abstract – Between the late 1950s and the mid-1970s, most large European commercial banks created European banking clubs, which were hybrid cooperative organisations meant to respond to American competition and to the progress of European integration. Based on the archives of several commercial banks from France and the UK, this article examines how the three main European clubs (EBIC, Europartners, and ABECOR) emerged and developed in the 1960s and 1970s, and continued to exist despite increasing challenges in the 1980s. The article argues that banking clubs were an early attempt at creating truly ‘European’ banks, or European champions, even though their experience was abandoned. They also participated in European integration in a different way than the one the European Commission promoted. These clubs were an important institutional response of European banks to both globalisation and European integration.
in Enterprise & Society, n°3, vol. 21, 2020, pp.768-798
Abstract – More than ten years after the financial crisis, the challenges of European banking and of the eurozone highlight that the existence of a European common market in banking is at best partial. Examining how British and French commercial banks and banking associations responded to the plans for a European common market in banking between 1977 and 1992, this article contributes to explaining this partial character, and highlights that this project was primarily political. This challenges the widely held view that large companies tended to push for more integration. This article shows that until the mid-1980s, the banking sector was not necessarily calling for European financial integration in the form of a common market in banking for at least three reasons: they doubted the usefulness of such a move, they feared an increase in regulation, and they focused more on domestic or global matters than on European ones.
In Financial History Review, n°3, vol. 27, 2020, pp. 376-396
Abstract – The City of London has long attracted much academic and popular attention. However, little research has been done on the relationship between the City and the European Economic Community in the 1970s and 1980s, despite the accession of the United Kingdom in 1973. Based on archival material from central and commercial banks in the UK and France, this article explores the relationship between the City and the EEC, from the accession of the UK to the EEC in 1973 to the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, which was meant to be the year of the completion of the single financial market. The article explores two areas: the influence of the City on EEC financial regulation, and how this influence was exerted. It pays particular attention to two committees chaired by the Bank of England, the City Liaison Committee and the City EEC Liaison Committee, and to British banks. The article argues that if the EEC played a part in the formalisation of British banking regulation, the City also played a key role in shaping EEC plans for financial regulation.
in Journal of Economic Policy Reform, n°3, vol. 23, 2020, pp.273-289
Abstract – This article explores the development of all new EEC institutions between 1957 and 1992 within policy areas relevant to the possible development of a European single currency. It argues that if most institutions created pre-1992 were not crisis management institutions as would be the case post-2008, some important institutions were created in response to the perception of a structural international banking/political/economic crisis, particularly in the 1970s. This comparison in time underlines the continuity of reflections about the missing elements of a functioning single currency area, the obstacles to reform, and sheds light on the radical institutional changes that occurred post-2008.
Alexis Drach, Removing obstacles to integration: the European way to deregulation, in Alexis Drach and Youssef Cassis (eds), Financial Deregulation: A Historical Perspective, Oxford University Press, forthcoming
Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, History of an Incomplete EMU, In: Amtenbrink, F. and Herrmann, C. (eds.) EU Law of Economic and Monetary Union. Oxford University Press, 2020
Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, European monetary integration, In: Battilossi, S., Cassis, Y. and Yago, K. (eds.) Handbook of the History of Money and Currency. Springer: Singapore, 2020
Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Debates about economic adjustment in Europe before the Euro. In: Gosh, A. R. and Qureshi, M. S. (eds.) From Great Depression to Great Recession: The Elusive Quest for International Policy Cooperation. International Monetary Fund: Washington, DC., 2017
Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, The quest for ‘strategic autonomy’: European Integration and globalisation since 1970. In: Segers, M. and Van Hecke, S. (eds) The Cambridge History of the European Union. Cambridge University Press, 2023.
Aurélie Andry, Social Europe, the Road not Taken. The Left and European Integration in the Long 1970s, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022.
Abstract – This book examines the European Left’s attempt to think and give shape to an alternative type of European integration-a ‘social Europe’-during the long 1970s. Based on fresh archival material, it shows that the western European Left-in particular social democratic parties, trade unions, and to a lesser extent ‘Eurocommunist’ parties-formulated a project to turn ‘capitalist Europe’ into a ‘workers’ Europe’. This project favoured coordinated measures for wealth redistribution, market regulation, a democratisation of the economy and of European institutions, upward harmonisation of social and fiscal systems, more inclusive welfare regimes, guaranteed employment, economic and social planning with greater consideration for the environment, increased public spending to meet collective needs, greater control of capital flows and multinational corporations, a reduction in working time, and a fairer international economic order favouring the global south. During the pivotal years following 1968, deeply marked by labour militancy, new social movements, economic crisis, and the unmaking of the ‘postwar compromise’, a window of opportunity opened in which European integration could have taken different roads. The defeat of ‘social Europe’ was a result of a decade-long social conflict which ended with the affirmation of a neoliberal Europe. Investigating this forgotten struggle and the reasons of its defeat can be useful not just to scholars and students eager to understand the historical evolution of European integration, the European Left, and European capitalism, but also to anyone interested in building alternative European and global futures.
Aurélie Andry, La battaglia dimenticata per un’Europa sociale. Zapruder, 51, pp. 54-72.