European Union Politics Research Project Proposal

To what extent does the EEC affect wages and labor conditions in the EU?

Since the beginning of the global economic crisis, European political parties have had to respond to new market and political conditions. Despite the fact the 1957 treaty establishing the EEC included provisions aimed at reducing economic inequalities between subnational regions, economic convergence between and within countries has been unequal. What explains the differences between regions where inequality has worsened and where it has been decreased? Using an institutionalist approach to markets, inter-governmentalist theories of welfare and state capacity, as well as EU Regional Policy Working Papers on patterns of investment, I will use quantitative and qualitative methods to look at changes of investment and costs of living. I expect to find that the increased size of the regional polity results in higher competition amongst workers and that regions associated with higher levels of unionization will have decreased levels of inequality and increased levels of political representation.