European Disintegration: Tendencies of Renationalization within the European Union and its Impact on the Common Labor Market and EU Consumer Markets

Thomas Köllen

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Starting in 1952 with Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Union (EU) successively enlarged to 27 member states in 2011. Since 2004, 10 Eastern European countries have joined the EU and, at the time of writing, five countries still have official EU candidate status and may join the EU in the near future. The permanent enlargement of the EU has led, and continues to lead, to social, cultural, economic, and linguistic pluralization and heterogenization and, more and more, causes a feeling of alienation among EU citizens. This comes along with a reduced willingness to share power, labor, and money among EU states, provokes tendencies of renationalization, and the resurgence of national thinking and acting. In the European common labor market these tendencies are attended by emerging exclusive nationalistic working climates and therefore undermine the formal freedom of movement for workers within the EU. In the European markets for consumer products (especially for food) these tendencies are reflected in augmented efforts that are undertaken to accentuate the national origin of domestic products. Empirical data of several EU member states will be analyzed and discussed. As a case study, the actual nationalistic tendencies of the Austrian consumer market will be parsed and integrated in a broader European picture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117 - 138
JournalInternational Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502019 Marketing
  • 502001 Labour market policy
  • 502027 Political economy
  • 502020 Market research
  • 504021 Migration research
  • 506004 European integration

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