Online ISSN 2286-0266
Print ISSN 1223-0685
© 2024 Œconomica by ASE & SOREC
Academia de Studii Economice din Bucureşti
The fact that economic and, by extension, political freedom is the key to an individual’s well-being remains true in the Western world today. These freedoms are a solution proposed by classical liberals for the spontaneous organization of a prosperous society that has been validated for the past two and a half centuries. But markets in Western societies are less free than they used to be, while government spending on social welfare consumes a substantial portion of budgets, especially in the European Union. The labour market is no better, with barriers to potential workers from outside Europe difficult to overcome as the continent’s population literally ages. The recent coronavirus pandemic, the 2015 migrant crisis, and the irrational fear of global warming have exacerbated the symptoms described above, leading European governments to adopt populist protectionist measures, impose unproductive restrictions, and heavily subsidize ineffective social and environmental programs. In this paper we analyse the role of subsidies, regulations, and prohibitions at the EU level, concluding that economic freedom – more specifically, the unrestricted flow of capital, products, and services – is essential to the survival of capitalism and the well-being of human societies.

ŒCONOMICA no. 4/2023
Keywords: European economic policy, European migration crisis, European Green Deal, interventionism, technological automation
JEL: B25, F22, F55, J11, N30, Q56
Critical Considerations on How Subsidies, Legal Constraints and Physical Barriers Affect Well-Being and Economic Freedom in Today’s European Union