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Regional economic adjustment in the new Europe : the prospects for Scotland

Moore, Chris and Booth, Simon (1991) Regional economic adjustment in the new Europe : the prospects for Scotland. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 16 (4). pp. 65-71. ISSN 0306-7866

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This article looks at the two key forces in the spatial development of the EC in the run-up to 1992. On the one hand the pressure for greater integration and unification around a liberal market economy and on the other the fragmentation and defence of 'peripheral' regional interests against centralisation. In this context peripheral is as much a socio-economic concept as a geographical one. These reflections are based on recent research into the configuration of regional interests, institutions and policy networks in Scotland which need to be placed in a wider context of a single European marketplace. The two European Community developments of the free market and social charter (1992) encapsulate this powerful and potentially contradictory force. The former is based on liberalisation, including the removal of barriers and constraints on the movement of goods, services and labour within the Community. The latter is based on the continental European notion of social partnership involving the organised interests of European and nation-state institutions, labour and capital. The balance between the economic and social forces embodied in these two concepts has yet to be worked out in terms of which development will dominate in the creation of a more united Europe.