EU Economic Law as a Market-Democratizing Project

In this paper I point attention to the economic regulatory component of the rise of populism in Europe and the challenges it may pose to liberal democracy. A style of populist economic regulation seeks to govern markets in the interest of insiders who are framed as vulnerable to the challenges of economic globalization. The anti-pluralist character of such style of regulation threatens to turn markets illiberal. By conceptualizing this anti-pluralist challenge in market governance, I wish to defend a vision of markets as contributing to the promise of democracy, through their ability to fostering a plurality of options in each sphere of life. In the European context, EU economic law has the potential to make an important contribution to such notion of markets. Viewed in this light, EU economic law can be described not much as an ordo(or neo)-liberal straightjacket, but as offering opportunities for democratization of the economy and society both in Member States and transnationally.