This volume presents a radical re-interpretation of the European Community or Union as a neo-liberal construction. It began with a vision of a free market untrammelled by public intervention and functioned on behalf of employers and capital to ensure competition, sound money and profitability against the inflationary force of wage earners and unions supported by the democratic state. The treaty of Rome, its principles and logic provided pro-business domestic forces with the juridical framework, political legitimation and levers they needed, particularly monetary union, to tip society against the forces of organised labour in a free market direction. The monetarist turn restored profitability but produced slow growth, mass unemployment and insecurity and came under challenge, most dramatically in France, by working people from below. This view is substantiated by an econometrically based study of member-state performance and complemented by a series of national studies on the monetarist turn by leading specialists.

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