The author uses the theory of the 'Great Transformation' of the industrialisation of England developed by Karl Polanyi to describe the current situation in Europe. There is a strong marketisation of the economy and also of social life, but what is missing is the social policy that needs to accompany this process, if there are not to be major problems. From this perspective marketization and social policy do not exist in a zero-sum game, but are mutually dependent. The emphasis on negative rather than positive integration (to use the terms conceived by Fritz Scharpf) in the development of Europe makes this interdependence more difficult to achieve. The division of competences between the European level (market policies) and the nation states (social policies) makes this situation even worse. The only way forward is a strengthening of the European social dimension.
University of Warwick, United Kingdom