Moxon-Browne, Edward. (1991) "European Community Membership as a Policy Constraint: The Case of Spain". In: UNSPECIFIED, Fairfax, Virginia. (Unpublished)
[From the Introduction]. In this paper it is argued that the Spain's membership of the European Community (EC) since 1986 has limited the government's room to manoeuvre in central aspects of economic policy. It is further argued that these constraints, although the consequence of a decision ( i.e. to enter the EC) freely taken, are nonetheless as rigid as any other set of constraints within which a national government operates. It is not argued that the Spanish case is necessarily applicable to all EC governments, although it is probably does apply in some degree to most; nor is it argued that the Spanish case is unique although there may be factors present in the Spanish case that make the constraints imposed by the EC more of a necessary evil in the Spanish case than in many other EC countries. Membership of the EC is not, of course, only about constraints: if it was, it might be a much less attractive place to be than it is. It is also about opportunities: the scope for broadening trade links, attracting investment, and playing a more significant role in West European politics are factors that balance the restrictive nature of EC membership. Nonetheless, it is argued in this paper that the constraints are more important for the domestic policy makers than the opportunities, if only because the constraints are perceived as the most productive context within which the opportunities can be delivered.
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