By Christopher J. S. Gentle (auth.)
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Additional info for After Liberalisation: A Vision of Europe in the Global Economy of the Twenty-First Century
The big two institutions The Era of Great Liberalisation 21 formed at Bretton Woods were the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These two institutions, together with the Marshall Plan - which provided money for the reconstruction of European economies - brought stability and prosperity to the West: the 'we've never had it so good' era to quote Harold Macmillan, a British Prime Minister in the late 1950s. No longer had this system reached its apogee in the 1960s and early 1970s than the forces that were to radically alter its economic foundations were beginning to assert a degree of influence.
However, this even spread masks sharp disparities at a regional level, in two ways. First, within each nation state the regional differences are marked. 7 44 After Liberalisation about double that of the most successful region. Second, this trend is also replicated across Europe: between the jobless blackspot of Spain's worst region at nearly 26 per cent, to Germany's lowest region at about 3 per cent. The rise in jobless totals across Europe has run parallel to the introduction of free markets in Europe.
A CASE STUDY: THE EUROPEAN INSURANCE INDUSTRY A microcosm of these changes, as part of liberalisation of national markets, is the insurance industry. In 1994, all Member States had to implement new rules that allowed insurers registered in any state to trade throughout the EU. Consequently, national controls over the types and price of general insurance - that is all insurance concerned with insuring property, motor, travel and non-human risks - had to be amended. 40 After Liberalisation Early attempts at creating pan-European companies, in the late 1980s dash for a unified Europe, resulted in many overpriced acquisitions.