Globalisation and the rise of 'economic nationalism': takeovers and regulation within the European Union

Helen Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The globalisation of markets, particularly the liberalisation of financial markets, has facilitated merger and acquisition activity on a global scale. New financial instruments and the growth of sovereign wealth funds have raised questions regarding the national security and the loss of sovereignty over key economic sectors. The European Union in its ambitions to complete a single market set out to establish a level playing-field: to enhance competitive performance. Policies towards mergers and takeovers were agreed by member states after many years of negotiation. These have encountered institutionally, embedded national differences resulting in some cases in transposition into national law facilitating greater national protection. This article will review the evolution of competition policy and its recent modernisation in the context of liberalisation and the Lisbon agenda. It will analyse the difficulties of harmonisation with the recent extension of liberalisation to include utilities, which in the aforementioned global context of heightened anxieties, has engendered a revival of 'economic nationalism'. This is exemplified in the current French position towards restructuring in the energy sector and its continued protection of 'national champions'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-251
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Economics and Business Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Competition policy
  • Economic nationalism
  • Energy policy
  • European Union
  • EU single market
  • French national champions
  • Globalisation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Protectionism
  • Regulation
  • Takeovers
  • France
  • Harmonisation
  • Liberalisation


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