Spanish State of Autonomies and Economic Freedom: Challenges of the European Economic Constitution Paradigm

  • Ainhoa Lasa López


In recent years, the perennial debate on the state of autonomies has taken special significance on the problem of market unity fragmentation because of the proliferation of regional regulations that segment markets, raising transaction costs and hindering the mobility of economic operators. This regulatory fragmentation may have devastating effects on Spanish economic competitiveness as shown in the results leading to the work “Economic Freedom in Spain, 2011,” which explores two aspects of public intervention in the area of Autonomous Communities: the regulation of economic activities and the dimension of regional governments, their role in providing public and merit goods and their financing. Without going into a detailed analysis of the study, the most relevant issue is that the criteria used to measure economic freedom are ascribed to an economic model aligned within the parameters of the “Market State” to the detriment of those of the Social State. So, regional economic freedom identifies with the requirements of an economic policy linked to the demands for greater market liberalization and a reduction of the role of the public sector in the economy. Only a policy of this magnitude can safeguard the principle of economic unity where the unitary market is subsumed. This observation may have important consequences on the questions of distribution of power and determination of its contents. Firstly, because it speaks in terms of minimum regulation, very different from those developed by the social State through its intervention in the redistributive process. Secondly, because competitive spaces are introduced in the field of public policy intervention among regional authorities that converge in a relationship where social policies end up being subordinated by market forces. Finally, even though the autonomous social dimension has internalized contents traceable to social protection related to hedging techniques that are not directly linked to the market, it is equally true that the cross-sectioned nature of the approach ends up affecting these contents being also functionalized to achieve the model described.


Monetary Policy Economic Freedom Public Intervention Economic Constitution Social Market Economy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cátedra Interuniversitaria deDerecho y Genoma Humano, Universidad de DeustoBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.University of the Basque CountryBilbaoSpain

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