2011 年 2011 巻 31 号 p. 102-126
The concept of the ‘Social Market Economy’ has been the main idea of the domestic economic governance during the post-war period in Germany. And it is also influenced by the Ordo-liberalism, which is mainly represented by Walter Eucken of the Freiburg School.
This idea was first adopted as one of the purposes of the EU in the Treaty of Lisbon. But the meaning of this idea is not clearly defined in this treaty. Therefore, it might lead to the complicated discussion about the interpretation of this concept. This paper investigates possible meanings of ‘Social Market Economy’ in the Treaty of Lisbon.
At first we take a close look at the exact definition and the theoretical framework of this thought on the original papers written by Alfred Müller-Armack, who was the initiator of this concept. The essential characteristic is the policy target, in which the balanced combination between the value of individual freedom and social fairness (or social security) should be found within the competitive market economic order.
Several factors of this idea are transposed into the treaty. For example, economic policy of the member states must be made within the principles of the “open market” with “the free competition” (TFEU/Art. 119). And the independence of the ECB (TFEU/Art. 130) and “the stability of prices” (TEU/Art. 3-3) are so strictly established in the Union, that they build the important institutional framework from the view of the ordo-liberalism.
To value the meanings of the concept of social market economy in the treaty, it is also important to point out, that we must consider the social aspects of the integration process.
As the concluding remarks, we could say that the Social Market Economy is a ideal model or distinguishing marks for the economic system of the EU. But it depends on the practice by each of the member states, concerning the way, how they will approach the ideal goal of social market economy with their own policy measures.