2011 年 2011 巻 31 号 p. 13-34
As is shown in the provisions on the categories of EU competence which was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, there are some asymmetries between certain policies in terms of competence allocation in the EU, such as those ⒜ between monetary policy and economic policy, and ⒝ between internal market and social policy. The asymmetry ⒜ has prevented the EU from responding quickly to the European debt crisis, while in the asymmetry ⒝ negative integration by free movement of goods, persons, services and capital has often made national social policies malfunction, with little social harmonisation at the EU level. The Lisbon Treaty has not necessarily offered satisfactory solutions for such asymmetry problems.
In order to explain the asymmetry problems, the “triangular model of European economic integration” is presented. The author modifies Dani Rodrik’s hypothesis of “the political trilemma of the world economy” to apply it to the EU. The following explanation could be theoretically made. The assumption is that it is impossible to achieve economic integration, sovereignty and democracy at the same time. Consequently, there are three options. ⑴ Provided that states choose economic integration and democracy, harmonisation will be made under supranational democracy. To that extent, national sovereignty will be lost (the situation of “European federation”). ⑵ Provided that states choose economic integration and sovereignty, regulatory competition, for example, will be brought about under (pure) mutual recognition, and the market, not national political process, will decide the rules. To that extent, domestic democracy will be lost (the situation of “the Golden Straitjacket”). ⑶ Provided that states choose sovereignty and democracy, it will lead to national treatment. State autonomy and national democracy will be retained, but economic integration will be harmed.
This model is an ideal type. In reality, it can be said that the deeper market integration goes, the more difficult it will be that sovereignty and democracy are achieved at once in a given area. And the three situations ⑴-⑶ can take place at once among different areas, as is seen in the Internal Market and also in the Economic and Monetary Union within the EU.
The “triangular model of European economic integration” implies that, as European integration develops further, national democracy would be more difficult to maintain and that consequently the choice would have to be made between “European federation” and “the Golden Straitjacket” by the EU Member States, who seem to prefer the latter.