T EA U R, V. 1 N. 0/2014
The Need for a Social Market Economy
José Maria Gil-Robles*
Article 3, indent 3 of the Treaty of European Union states that Union shall
work for sustainable development of Europe based in the Social Market
Economy specifying three characteristics:
- it must be a highly competitive economy,
- tending to full employment and social progress, and
- with a high level of environment protection.
Social Market Economy is not the “Welfare State” even if they are often
confused; Social Market Economy is a theory with antecedents in the “new
liberalism” (Lipman, Hayeck, etc.) and in politicians like Rathenau, but was
in fact developed by the Fribourg School: Walter Eucken, Alexander Rüston,
Franz Böhmy, Wilhelm Röpke, and inspired the politics of Alfred Müller-
* University of Madrid, Spain
Past President of the European Parliament
is article is based on the author’s opening of the International Conference “Social Market Economy
as Europe’s economic model”, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in cooperation with the
Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence of the Universities of Madrid and Pavia (November 28-30, 2012).
e autor is eager to express his deep gratitude to the remarks and enrichment that he received on this
subject from the other participants in the conference: Mr. Lange, Dr. Gehrold, Dr. Glossner, Prof.
Felisini, Prof. Wohlgemuth, Prof. Funk, Prof. Krienke, Mr. Matthes, Mr. Lieberherr, Dr. Horn, Mr.
Freudenstein, Prof. Nieto, Prof. Velo, and Dr. Borchard.
Of course opinions expressed in the article are exclusive author’s responsibility.