A just yet unequal European Union: a defense of moderate economic inequality

Article by Andreas Føllesdal in Review of Social Economy


What does justice require concerning socio-economic distribution among citizens of the European Union? The EU should reduce cross-national economic inequalities among inhabitants of different member states, but full economic distributive equality or a European ‘Difference Principle,' may not be required. Individuals' claim to more political influence over matters controlled by their own state in the quasi-federal EU may permit some economic inequality. Section 1 orients this contribution relative to arguments for a European universal income. Section 2 provides relevant features of the EU. Section 3 considers contractualist arguments against certain forms of economic inequality, while section 4 identifies a further argument in favour of equal shares of benefits of social cooperation, based on an interpretation of ‘social primary goods' consistent with Rawls' theory. Section 5 argues that these reasons for economic distributive equality must be weighed against more political influence over matters controlled by the individual’s sub-unit.

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Published Aug. 27, 2021 2:00 PM - Last modified Aug. 27, 2021 2:00 PM