Is the European Union a Friend or Foe of Economic Freedom?

February 17, 2016

In the past, the European Union was seen as a force for economic liberalization. Brussels broke down many barriers to the free movement of goods, services, people, and capital. As such, the EU was credited with growing prosperity and stability on the continent. In recent decades, however, the EU became synonymous with unwieldy bureaucracy and overregulation. Today, many see the EU as a source of Europe’s problems, including slow growth, high unemployment, and rising social tensions. The “Index of Liberalization,” published by the Italian think tank Instituto Bruno Leoni, identifies barriers to entry in key economic sectors across the EU. Massimiliano Trovato will present the latest data and discuss the role that Brussels is playing, and fails to play, in returning the EU to a path of growth.

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