Finance: Research, Policy and Anecdotes

Quo vadis European Union?

This just out – a new eBook from Vox, co-edited by political scientist Geoffrey Underhill and me on the future direction of the EU, with 18 columns from economists and political scientists. The motivation is clear: the EU project is in a big crisis, with the Brexit vote being only one of many disruptors. There rather seems a deeper identity crisis, The institutions and even the very idea of the EU are under fire, with feelings of disenfranchisement among large parts of the population driving support for populist movements across the continent. At the same time, the EU faces external threats from the East (Putin) and the West (Trump), both eager to weaken, if not destroy, European unity, including the EU.  It is no exaggeration to say that Europe, as a political entity, is facing its greatest existential challenge of the past 70 years.

Some key findings:

  • Muddling through won’t do – out-of-the-box thinking and bold moves are needed to get the EU project back on track
  • A radical rethinking of the EU’s governance structure is needed, where some policy areas require more and some policy areas less centralisation
  • In the absence of a European identity, reform efforts must start from the national level and national members should take greater responsibility for the decisions they take in relation to Europe 

There are several events coming up; the first on 20 March at Cass.