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Eurosclerosis (German: Eurosklerose) is a term coined in the 1970s and the early 1980s to describe both a political period and an economic pattern in Europe, alluding to the medical term sclerosis.

Economically, it was used to describe countries which had high unemployment and slow job creation in spite of overall economic growth, in contrast to what the United States experienced in the same period when economic expansion was accompanied by high job growth.

In its political context, the term "eurosclerosis" was used to describe a period with a perceived stagnation of European integration. The slow pace of enlargement, a perceived lack of democracy and economic problems meant that negative and apathetic attitudes to the European Economic Community (EEC) were high.

Wilfried Martens, Prime Minister of Belgium from 1981 to 1992, states in his 2008 memoirs that the period of "eurosclerosis" was brought to an end by the 1986 Single European Act which re-launched the drive to integration by framing the single market of the EEC.[1]

As an economic term, "eurosclerosis" has later been used more broadly to refer to overall economic stagnation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martens, Wilfried (2008). Europe: I Struggle, I Overcome. Brussels: Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-89288-5. 
  • Rosser, Barkley J. and Marina V. Rosser. "Comparative Economics in a Transforming World Economy", 2nd Edition, The MIT Press, 2004. pp 240
  • Henderson, David R. The Europeanization of the U.S. labor market. Public Policy. Fall, 1993.