(FIVE MINUTE READ)
No matter how you view the European Union it was born out of the ruins of Europe after two world wars and has been mainly responsible for keeping Europe peaceful ever since.
The great paradox of the European Union is that it has tried to unify Europe with uniform regulations and institutions, but these have instead generated disunion between the member states- Brexit.
IF BREXIT RESULTS IN ENGLAND ARCHIVING A DEAL THAT REFLECTS THE DILUTION OF ANY OF THE BENEFITS ON ANY OF THE REMAINING MEMBERS IT WILL BE THE SLIPPERY SLOPE NOT JUST TO THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE SINGLE MARKET BUT TO THE WHOLE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.
This compounded by the problems caused by the euro it could well not survive in its present form. Above all, the Euro introduced at the end of the last century has sharply divided Europe between debtor and creditor nations, and now threatens the integrity of the EU.
The euro, intended as it was to bring the countries of Europe together in a shared project and destiny, had ended up provoking division between them. Unless something changes, the distortions generated by the euro are likely to produce another crisis when the economy next turns down
If Italy goes bust it will simply fall out of the euro, risking the survival of the entire Eurozone. Italy unlike Greece is too big to be bailed out.
It’s now entirely conceivable that Italy or another Eurozone member state will one day unilaterally restore a national currency and defy the EU to stop it.
The Greek debacle neatly encapsulates the internal contradictions of the euro.
The EU is perfectly aware that its lack of accountability poses a legitimacy problem in a continent where nation states still enjoy the allegiance of their populations.
It’s pretty clear that Europe needs a new constitutional settlement.
Europe’s core national identities have resisted the EU’s attempt to replace them with a wholesale European identity, even though Europeans generally do also subscribe to a European identity.
A reformed European Union would therefore ideally move away from being a super-state in the making and seek to create unity out of that diversity.
My own hope is that Brexit will help to preserve European unity by triggering the necessary reform.
IF THE EU REMAINS BLINKERED IT ONLY HAS TO LOOK AT THE RISE OF POPULIST MOVEMENTS AND PARTIES WHICH ARE DUE TO UNCONTROLLED INFLUX OF IMMIGRANTS AND THE HIGH PERCENTAGE OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYED IN ITS SOUTHERN MEMBER STATES.
THE WARNINGS ARE CLEAR.
IF NOT RESOLVED EUROPEAN POLITICS WILL HAVE NO OPTION BUT TO RETURN NATIONALISM.
There is no alternative to the difficult reforms. They are needed in order to ensure that future generations won’t pick up the bill for past generations’ mistakes.
Any European association that succeeded the European Union would have to return some powers to the member states and would have to abandon or reform the single currency.
IT COULD START BY SCRAPPING THE NEEDLESS WASTE OF TAX PAYERS MONEY IN ASSOCIATION WITH MOVING ITS PARLEMENT BETWEEN STRASBOURG AND BRUSSELS – €109 million per year. Further €5 million savings would come from the reduction of the travel expenses in the budgets of the European Commission and the Council.
To adjust the deep structural imbalances across the Union- IT COULD START BY CREATING EUROPEAN TREASURY BONDS TO ENABLE INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE TO INVEST IN ITS INFRASTRUCTURE, ITS ENVIRONMENT, ITS ENERGY, ETC. ( SEE PREVIOUS POSTS)
The future of the EU is more reliant on public support for its continued legitimacy than ever before.
The big questions are.
Is it the driver of recent Eurosceptic party success, or do national conditions and evaluations play a more important role?
And finally, when does Eurosceptic public opinion have the ability to constrain the preferences of elites who shape jurisdictional choices in Europe?
There is an expanding rift between different types of skeptics within and across countries in terms of what they want from the EU.
One way for the EU to deal with different constituencies might be to fully embrace the diversity within its borders and provide more differentiated and flexible policy solutions.
Perhaps successful integration should not be defined as a form of harmonization or even homogenization, but rather be rooted in the principle of flexibility. A flexible rather than fixed end goal could prove a strong argument for the public to stick with the European project, even though it is fundamentally divided about what it wants from Europe.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.