This publication raises awareness of the multi-layered and complex nature of the challenges EU member states and the EU itself must face in connection with understanding and interpreting the state’s role in the market.
From a liberal perspective, the approach to the state’s role in the market economy has always been defined by the principle of ‘the less is more’. The market should be regulated by demand and supply, and free competition should control the prices to everybody’s benefit. In an ideal world, the state’s role is limited to the provision of the rules of free competition, and governments abstain from interfering with the market.
The world, however, is never ideal, and it has been even less so over the last couple of years. Although crises of various natures have appeared from time to time in different states and continents throughout modern history, in our globalised economy and deeply interlinked societies, the crises of recent times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the emergence of armed conflicts (such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or the Israeli-Hamas conflict), or fuel price shocks created unprecedented circumstances, calling for new answers.