N. 01, December 1997

Economic and monetary union (due, if all goes according to plan, to come into force on 1st January, 1999) is currently the central issue in European debate. Indeed, EMU represents a crucial step forward in the process of European unification. The governments of the countries wishing to enter the single currency, and the political forces which support them, or which share their interest in EMU, are doing all they can to create the conditions necessary to enable their countries to be part of the sin-gle currency from day one...

 

N. 02, February 1998

The prospect of the creation of a single European currency has led to a gradual, and until recent years quite unthinkable, convergence of the budgetary policies of EU member states (including those which, initially at least, will not be entering the single currency). Even those governments which, in the general opinion, were condemned by their weakness to rely on deficit spending (and previously on inflation) in order to stay in power have, stimulated by the prospect of a single currency, managed to gather the strength and the consensus needed to impose a strict budgetary policy on their countries - and their citizens, demonstrating a sense of responsibility, have been prepared to make the necessary sacrifices...

 

N. 03, May 1998

Six years on from the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, it must be stated, quite clearly, that the part of the agreement dealing with Common Foreign and Security Policy has proved to be totally ineffective.
An examination of the role played by the Union in the crisis spots closest to home, i.e., the former Yugoslavia, Israel and Iraq, soon reveals that it has, in all these cases, done nothing other than present a front of disunity - a spectacle of impotence and irresponsibility...

 

N. 04, July 1998

The decisions taken on May 2nd by the European Council in Brussels put an end to the uncertainty and speculation surrounding the start of monetary union and the identity of the countries which are to enter it in the first wave. Inevitably,politicians and commentators have now started to project their attention beyond the launch of the single currency,to the reform of the institutions which, without interfering with the autonomy of the Central Bank, must provide the political framework for monetary union...

 

N. 05, October 1998

The financial crisis which started several months ago on the markets of South East Asia is threatening to assume global proportions. Having hit Russia and Latin America, and laid bare the total inertia and impotence of Japan, it is now sowing the seeds of fear in the financial markets of America and Europe. Many observers have become seriously concerned that the crisis could spread from the financial sector to the economy itself, triggering a period of world recession whose severity would be quite impossible to predict...

 

N. 06, December 1998

The election of a social democratic government by the country which is, economically, the European Union’s strongest member, and the consequent increase in the overall number of member countries led by left wing parties or alliances, have left many believing that the EU has entered a new phase in its history. This belief is fuelled by the frequent declarations, made by government leaders, ministers and commissioners, in which the emphasis, shifted away from the indispensable need for strict budgetary policies, is laid on the urgency of the unemployment problem...

 

N. 07, February 1999

The coming into force of the single European currency should be celebrated as an exceptional event in the history of the continent. As many have rightly observed, it is the first time in the history of humanity that a wide group of large independent states has subjected itself to the rigid constraints attendant upon the adoption of a single currency. By doing just this, the eleven countries in the euro zone have taken a vastly important step...

 

N. 08, April 1999

Many people today are calling for a change in the philosophy underlying the current approach to economic and monetary policy in Europe. According to them, it is time to move on from the present phase (which sees politicians and central banks driven, by the memory of the havoc caused by the inflation of the 1980s, to place a higher value on stability than on growth) to a phase in which this order of priorities is reversed - because the main danger to be averted is no longer inflation, but recession...

 

N. 09, May 1999

The war in Kosovo, together with the atrocities of the ethnic cleansing which it has brought with it and the ceaseless destruction that it is provoking, inevitably prompt a number of reflections on our part.
1) The governments of the European Union shoulder a considerable burden of responsibility for the events which led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia and culminated in the madness of the current conflict...

 

N. 10, September 1999

The electoral campaign that led up to the European elections in June was unfortunately turned, once again, into a political contest focusing on national issues. And it is, without doubt, the lack of any real European vision demonstrated - with a few occasional and partial exceptions - by all the political parties that must be considered the main reason for the worryingly high level of abstention which emerged, albeit to varying degrees, in all the countries of the Union...

 

N. 11, November 1999

“European constitution” is becoming a watchword increasingly used in political debate in all the countries of the Union, and adopted by prominent politicians and influential commentators. That which was, until the last European elections, known in the European Parliament as the “institutional commission” is now referred to as the “constitutional commission”. These are positive developments and changes that have injected into political debate in Europe a term which was, until a few months ago, taboo...

 

N. 12, January 2000

A transverse alignment has been born in France, which is being labelled “souverainiste”, and which is forming alliances in other EU member countries. Its emergence constitutes a demonstration of the fact that the forces that oppose European political unity have recognised that, following the arrival of the euro, the process of European unification has entered a crucial stage in which the question of sovereignty can no longer be brushed under the carpet. As a result, they are, with clear-sightedness and determination, coming forward to spread their message that sovereignty is, and must remain, a prerogative of the nation-states...

 

N. 13, March 2000

The approach of the intergovernmental conference convened by the European Council at Helsinki once again brings to the fore the problem of enlargement. It is a process that could result in a European Union made up of 27 or 28 members whose economic and social structures would be far more heterogeneous than those of the current 15 member states...

 

N. 14, May 2000

The European Council in Tampere, executing a preliminary decision reached in Cologne, has assigned a “body” - in which the Union’s heads of state and government, the Commission, the European Parliament and the national parliaments are to be represented - the task of drawing up a European Charter of Fundamental Rights. This development has aroused great interest within the European Parliamentand within a number of pro-European circles, and many are alreadyinvolved in efforts to influence the work of this assembly.Indeed, the feeling in a number of quarters is that, correctly oriented, the assembly could carry out work of constituent, or partially constituent, or preconstituent import...

 

N. 15, September 2000

The speech given on May 12th at Berlin’s Humboldt University by Germany’s foreign minister Joschka Fischer, and the one delivered by French president Jacques Chirac before the German parliament on June 27th, have stepped up considerably the quality of the debate on European unification. In the wake of decades during which they have been irresponsibly ignored, the questions of the final destination of the process and of the ways by which it might be reached have now been placed firmly on the agenda...

 

N. 16, November 2000

A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION FOR EUROPE

Thanks to the speech made on May 12th at Berlin’s Humboldt University by the German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, and the one given by French president Jacques Chirac before the German parliament on June 27th, the key problemsof the process of European unification have been brought to the attention of public opinion...

 

N. 17, January 2001

The meeting of the European Council in Nice ended in total failure. It was a predictable outcome, and since there was no reason prior to the summit to imagine that it might end any other way, there is no real reason to be disappointed by it. The crucial problems relating to the process of European unification were kept strictly off the agenda and it was, as a result, clear from the outset that Nice would provide the stage for a clash of minimalist positions. It would have been naive to expect that a compromise of great import and significance might be born of such a confrontation...

 

N. 18, March 2001

It was through the achievement of a series of partial results, like the ECSC, the common market, the direct election of the European Parliament, the single market and the single currency, that the process of European integration advanced as far as Maastricht. From one point of view, these partial results can, in relation to the final objective, that is the founding of a European federation, be seen as diversions...

 

N. 19, May 2001

Since the Maastricht Treaty came into force, the European Union has shown itself to be incapable, as far as the reforming of its institutions is concerned, of moving any closer to its aim of achieving the progressive building of a more perfect union. Until the introduction of the single currency on January 1st 1999, this is something that went largely unnoticed, the reason being that the efforts of politicians and the attention of commentators were focused instead on the problem of bringing national budgets and the main instruments of public finance into line with the criteria established by the treaty...

 

N. 20, September 2001

When enlargement of the EU to the countries of central and eastern Europe still appeared to be a remote prospect, many politicians in the member states claimed to be convinced of the need, prior to enlargement, to achieve a real strengthening of the Union’s institutions. They were aware that this was essential if the EU were to be able to withstand the impact that the entry of these new countries would have on it, and be kept from turning into a free trade area that, stripped of all political momentum and legitimacy, would be destined, in the end, to disintegrate...

 

N. 21, December 2001

Three observations are prompted by the developments that have followed in the wake of the events of September 11th in the United States. The first concerns the growing fragility of America’s hegemony and the increasingly clear fact that it is impossible for the United States to create and consolidate a new world order by adopting a unilateral approach. The world is too vast to be governed by a single country and the idea of the pax americana is a purely utopian one...

 

N. 22, February 2002

The line that the Italian government’s European policy has followed in recent months should stir up fear and alarm in all Europeans who have any sense of responsibility. Italy has always belonged to the group of countries at Europe’s heart – the countries whose collaboration gave rise to the initiatives that, over the years, have kept the process of European unification moving forwards (as far as Maastricht). The Italian government’s new line is destined to ensure Italy’s exclusion from a Europe continuing along the road towards the continent’s unification...

 

N. 23, May 2002

The progress that Europe has made, thus far, along the road towards its unification has been achieved through a fundamentally ambiguous mechanism. The protagonists of the process, essentially the governments of the European nations, have been driven, at each crucial moment, by two contradictory motivations. On the one hand, they realised that the wellbeing of their citizens, and thus the consensus that allowed them to go on governing, depended on a certain measure of unity within the framework of the European Community initially, and subsequently of the European Union...

 

N. 24, July 2002

There are some who maintain that Europe is today witnessing – particularly within the Convention – a confrontation between a federalist alliance and an anti-federalist alliance, the latter apparently made up of those who would like to strengthen the role of the European Council and the Council of Ministers, accentuating the intergovernmental character of the Union...

 

N. 25, October 2002

Cracks have recently started appearing in the Stability Pact, which the so-called Eurozone countries entered into as a means of guaranteeing the conditions needed to ensure the survival of the single currency. The danger that the Pact would be undermined by one or more asymmetrical shocks was – it might be recalled – widely predicted both by eurosceptics, who did not want the euro to be introduced in the first place and certainly hoped that it would quickly be abandoned, and by federalists, who pointed out the risks it would be exposed to, and pressed for decisions that would eliminate these risks. But no one would have predicted that these first signs of the Pact’s weakness would appear so soon...

 

N. 26, December 2002

The industrialised world is currently undergoing its worst economic crisis since the 1929 Depression. While the present crisis was (as is often the case) triggered by the bursting of a speculative bubble, it is now beginning to impact on the real economy, and is looking far more serious in Europe than in the United States. It has already left victims in its wake in several European countries – one need only recall the closure of Sabena and the problems facing Vivendi Universal...

 

N. 27, February 2003

Today, parallels are frequently being drawn between the work of the Convention in Brussels and the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. One of the clearest of these parallels concerns the cracks that run through each of them. The divide within the Philadelphia Convention placed the representatives of the large states in opposition to those of the small states. The former wanted to be attributed more weight in the future constitution – a weight proportional to the larger size of their population...

 

N. 28, April 2003

America’s preparation for and launch of the war on Iraq have split the European Union’s current (and prospective) member states into two camps. It is a deep division that sees on one side the governments, the UK government first and foremost, that have accepted meekly this flexing of American muscle, and on the other, those countries that, attempting to safeguard the shred of independence they still retain, have strongly opposed the action of the United States...

 

N. 29, June 2003

Eversince the Anglo-American war on Iraq ended in rapid military victory forthe coalition forces – a victory achieved at the cost of the social and administrative disintegration of Iraq, the collapse of its healthcare system and the destruction or loss of cultural heritage of inestimable value – Europe’s governments have been jostling with one another in their eagerness to extend the hand of friendship to the United States, or at least to smooth over the differences that separate them from the US...

 

N. 30, October 2003

FOR A FEDERAL PACT AMONG EUROPE’S FOUNDERMEMBER STATES

The impotence of Europe and the need for a European foreign and defence policy

The European Union today finds itself in a situation of impasse on many fronts — political and economic. But the occupation of Iraq, by British and American troops, coming in the wake of events in the Balkans, has made it patently and dramatically clear that the unity of the continent is much more than just a question of safeguarding the wellbeing of the Europeans, and closing the technological gap that separates Europe from the United States...

 

N. 31, January 2004

The Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels ended the only way it could end – in resounding failure. But it must be stressed that its outcome would have been just as negative even had the conference ended in adoption of the “Constitution” drawn up by the Convention. This is, after all, a document that contains absolutely no innovative element beyond the purely formal, and one that even the most Euro-sceptic of governments could happily have approved, secure in the knowledge that it contained nothing that would erode, in the slightest, its sovereignty...

 

N. 32, April 2004

In the wake of the Brussels fiasco, and influenced by the spectacle of the European Union’s impotence over the question of the war in Iraq, the British, French and German governments, realising that neither an active European presence in the world, nor even a semblance of governability of the European Union, can be guaranteed by the Union’s present institutions, have laid the foundations for the birth of a pilot-group of states that should be in a position to achieve a minimum degree of coordination among its members – albeit in harmony with NATO plans – and to adopt a common position on the most important aspects of European policy...

 

N. 33, June 2004

The war in Iraq has illustrated, with dramatic and unprecedented clarity, Europe’s total incapacity to act, the paralysis produced by the continent’s division, and its absence as a political actor on the stage of international relations. Some of the governments of its member states allowed themselves, contrary to the wishes of their citizens, to be caught up in this sorry enterprise, whose disastrous outcome was wholly predictable. Others, despite demonstrating a measure of self-respect and trying to impose their autonomy, found themselves forced to watch, without being allowed to change the course of events, the unfolding of a bloody and senseless crisis that could have been avoided, had an independent and authoritative actor also been present on the stage...

 

N. 34, October 2004

Following the ratification by the European Council in Brussels of a document that goes by the name of constitution (even though in fact it does nothing other than formalise the existing divisions within the European Union), some have claimed that the summit, and the whole process that led up to it, was characterised by the emergence of opposing eurosceptic and federalist lines, and that the former has prevailed over the latter...

 

N. 35, February 2005

Turkey,albeit following complex and difficult negotiations, is likely to be admitted as a member state of the European Union in 2014.
This outcome is largely a foregone conclusion, given that Turkey has been linked with Europe through an association agreement since as long ago as 1963, and that since that time it has worked to increase the level of its interdependence, first with the European Community and subsequently with the European Union...

 

N. 36, June 2005

France’s clear and unequivocal rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty, followed by the “no” vote in the Netherlands, marks the end of the road for this text, as originally conceived, and the start of a period of uncertainty and of nervous negotiations, during which the governments will look for ways of overcoming the current impasse. The temptation to play down what has happened and to try and paper over the defeat, avoiding major upheavals, will be considerable...

 

N. 37, October 2005

The European Union is going through a crisis whose gravity must not be underestimated. This crisis derives from the very nature of the Union which, in its present form, corresponds to the design of some member states, which is to water down the European Community into a less and less integrated area. This design, irreconcilable with efforts to strengthen the political cohesion of the member states, is paralysing Europe. Today’s enlarged Union cannot guarantee stability and gradual integration over a continental area, because it is, internally, profoundly heterogeneous and lacks the instruments to bridge the gap between the member states and to create the conditions in which there can develop real convergence of interests...

 

N. 38, December 2005

The watering down of the European Union into a free-trade area is a process that is at risk of becoming irreversible. Indeed, the profound heterogeneity of the EU member states, their diverging national interests, their widely differing visions regarding the objectives of the European process, and their different conceptions of the relationship that Europe should be seeking to establish with the United States, are all pushing it firmly in this direction. Many states support and favour this trend...

 

N. 39, March 2006

The Russian gas war and the continual increases in oil prices (both problems linked to structural aspects of the current international framework) have highlighted the precarious nature of Europe’s wellbeing and economic growth. The latter depend on the availability of low-cost fossil fuel and reasonably constant fuel supplies, and thus, ultimately, on the stability of the global power structure that guarantees both these things...

 

N. 40, June 2006

Two trends, in particular, are today working against European unity. The first is a trend towards protectionism, which, now spreading on a global scale, has been triggered by the growing reluctance of citizens worried about the effects of globalisation to submit meekly to the application of multilateral agreements and other solutions worked out in the ambit of the WTO, the IMF, the G8, and similar organisations. The second is a trend towards a divergence of the policies of the EU member states in the face of the impasse reached in the process of European integration, which denies the European countries a supranational framework of reference for their policies...

 

N. 41, September 2006

The European Council’s decision, reached on June 15th, to prolong until 2008 the period of reflection upon the question of institutional reforms provides yet another demonstration of the fact that the European Union, paralysed by internal contradictions, is increasingly incapable of action. Not even the urgent problems created by the rapidly degenerating international situation, which is threatening the vital interests of our continent too, are able to jolt it into finding instruments that will allow it to act; the Israel-Lebanon situation has shown, once again, that each European state pursues a narrow, national policy, never going further than to seek – at most – forms of collaboration with the other member states...

 

N. 42, December 2006

“It is helpful to recall the problem at the heart of the issue of integration, which is the conceptual schism among the member states. Contradictory and irreconcilable attitudes toward the future of Europe collide. Whereas some construe the idea of the “United States of Europe” as a survival strategy for the continent, others are keen to emphasize that they have merely joined an internal market. This profound disagreement over the EU’s ultimate direction threatens to abruptly end the success story of European integration...

 

N. 43, March 2007

As confirmed by the numerous international summits on climate change that have taken place in recent months, and by the scientific comment that has accompanied them, global warming is no longer just an uncomfortable prediction, but instead an undeniable reality. In spite of this, and of the advanced scientific debate on the issue, the debate on the policies needed in order to tackle this global emergency has barely begun...

 

N. 44, July 2007

To deceive oneself, or to try to deceive public opinion, as the EU heads of state and of government tried to do in Brussels on June 21-22, that Europe’s relaunch depends on the adoption of a “reform treaty”, which may be more or less simplified than the constitutional treaty, is to underestimate the depth of the causes of Europe’s impotence. This impotence is rooted in the fact that the process of European unification, within the framework of the European Union, has run out of steam, as is clear from the deterioration of relations between its member states, who are becoming less and less attached to a European outlook of reciprocal integration and more and more dependent on the military, energy and commercial and monetary policy decisions taken by the USA, by Russia (once again), and now by China too...

 

N. 45, October 2007

In the past seven years, while Europe has wasted time tinkering fruitlessly with its institutions, the world has seen some extraordinary changes. One need only recall that, in this short space of time, the global equilibrium dominated by American monopolarism has come to an end, China has emerged solidly as a major global economic and military power, and the crisis hot spots in the Middle East and central Asia have increased in number, and in severity, compared with the recent past...

 

N. 46, December 2007

The appeals for a European defence coming from various quarters, and in particular from French president Sarkozy, provide a reminder – should one be needed – of the fact that, as yet, such a defence does not exist, and that no European country is in a position, by itself, to guarantee its own security or to help promote peace. However, these appeals present a serious flaw: they do not see, or feign not to see, that the question of Europe’s defence cannot be solved without first overcoming the problem of the national sovereignties, and their aim is to conserve, or at best to deepen, the level of cooperation among the European states in the ambit of the traditional international treaties...

 

N. 47, March 2008

Italy’s current political and economic crisis rings alarm bells for all Europeans, and it would be a serious mistake to see it as just another of the many difficult and paradoxical moments that this country has known in the course of decades spent trailing behind the world’s more advanced societies. Italy’s present crisis is nothing other than the most obvious manifestation of the general reversal of the European situation, a reversal rooted in the fact that, in spite of fifty years of integration, Europe continues to be divided, impotent and irresponsible...

 

N. 48, June 2008

The world, more and more, is hostage to global uncertainty. The governments appear helpless in the face of the increasingly frequent, numerous and interwoven crises that they themselves, as in the case of the food-for-oil policies introduced by some states, continue to create.
It is not Nature’s fault that the problem of hunger in the world has grown more acute in recent months. Nor is it up to Nature alone to produce all the food now needed to feed the world. As OECD estimates confirm, it is the policies currently pursued by the states that will prevent food surpluses over the next five years from increasing by more than 0.3%: too little to save mankind from new food crises. Added to this, demand is set to rise and in some key regions of the world, the vagaries of the climate threaten the production of wheat, corn and rice...

 

N. 49, November 2008

In recent months the world has been rocked by two severe crises. The first, a military emergency with regional political implications, is the conflict between Russia and Georgia. The second is the financial crisis, with repercussions on the global economy, caused by the collapse of a number of banking giants and the resulting worldwide plunge of the stock markets. While these two crises are destined to impinge on our own countries to vastly differing degrees, they nevertheless both stem from the profound changes that are taking place in the global balance. These crises, having helped to strip away the veil that continued to conceal the end of American unipolarism, have opened up scenarios that are still very difficult to interpret...

 

N. 50, April 2009

It is a very long time since the world experienced an economic crisis on the scale of the current one. The present crisis is more severe than the depression of the 1930s (a time when both the area of the former Soviet Union and the whole of Asia were still on the fringes of world trade) and its effects could jeopardise not only the prospects of growth and development for the whole of the next decade, but also those of a whole new generation. Stemming from the laissez faire policies, the excessive speculation and the economic and financial imbalances that, in the1990s, were promoted as the new model of the world economy, it is a crisis that could prove catastrophic for Europe...

 

N.51, July 2009

On September 1st, 1994, during Germany’s six-month presidency of the EU, Wolfgang Schäuble, president of the CDU/CSU group in the German parliament, presented to the Bundestag, on behalf of his party, a document he had drawn up together with Karl Lamers.Entitled “Reflections on European Policy”, this was a paper, and indeed an initiative, that marked one of the high points in European political debate...

 

N. 52, December 2009

On December 1st, 2010 the Lisbon Treaty, at the end of eight long and extremely difficult years of proposals, rejections and defeats, finally came into force. Ultimately, however, the outcome of this tortured process is commensurate neither with the initial expectations of the Treaty, nor with the considerable effort that has been expended on it. The 27-member EU may have equipped itself with a more rational framework for managing its ordinary affairs, but it has also shown that it now has no leeway for further revisions, to say nothing of ambitious political projects...

 

N. 53, March 2010

Most European citizens still believe in the idea of European unification, but are captive to a framework in which it is no longer on the agenda. This is, in fact, the reason why, in recent years, every time they have been called upon to express, directly, their views on the present European Union, they have either responded with only lukewarm support or rejected it. Leaving aside the milestones Europe has already achieved, public opinion is aware that today’s Europe is not a true political union, but only a large reservoir of energies and possibilities that is effectively governed by national policies; it is also aware that this is not enough to protect Europe and equip it to rise to the challenges thrown up by the new world balance...

 

N. 54, September 2010

The financial crisis that has rocked the euro is a structural crisis rooted in the political division of Europe. As the Western world, currently in a phase of weakness and decline, struggles in the face of the rise of the new global powers, markets, analysts and observers have all identified the European Community as, without doubt, the most fragile, and thus penalised, player within the new balances that are now emerging...

 

N. 55, January 2011

Can the euro survive? Today, less than a decade since the introduction of the single currency, this is the question that hangs darkly over Europe’s future. The Greek crisis, then the Irish one, and now the threat of a crisis in Portugal have irrevocably shaken confidence in the monetary union that, in spite of its size, the Europeans have created in the absence of a state framework, and above all in its chances of survival. It is a monetary union in which the economic and commercial imbalances between the member states are tending to become more rather than less marked, and in which dreaded asymmetric shocks are becoming endemic...

 

N. 56, July 2011

Is the current rebellion of the Arab masses against corrupt and authoritarian regimes really going to lead to the affirmation of democracy and to civil and economic growth in North Africa and the Middle East?
There are many uncertainties that still make it impossible to answer this question definitively. But three main factors emerge: the continuing precariousness of the global political, economic and financial situation; the clearly fragile outlook for integration, both regional (within North Africa) and Euro-Mediterranean; and the Europeans’ incapacity to propose an adequate Euro-Mediterranean joint development plan...

 

N. 57, December 2011

Only time will tell whether the outcome of the Brussels summit on 8/9 December 2011 goes down in history as a turning point for the European Union. However, one thing is already clear: Britain’s self-exclusion from the proposed new treaty, which Germany and France are presenting as the start of a new strengthening of monetary union, represents a split of enormous political significance, and it could open the way for a new phase in the European process...

 

N. 58, May 2012

Describing it as “almost an avalanche”, Ferdinando Riccardi, leader writer for Agence Europe and a close observer of everything that happens in the European Union, recently drew attention to the growing number of stances on Europe’s future now being adopted by prominent political figures – a number “far greater than anyone might have predicted”...

 

N. 59, July 2012

The outcome of the recent European Council and eurozone summit in Brussels (28-29 June) must be interpreted first of all in the light of three political messages that this meeting gave out to the international markets and public opinion in the different countries.
The first is linked to the fact that the eurozone countries, required to come up with concrete answers, were forced to agree to take immediate steps towards creating a banking and budgetary union, first of all by strengthening the role of the European Central Bank within the new system of credit supervision and regulation...

 

 N. 60, January 2013

The creation of “four unions” (banking, fiscal, economic and political), thereby solving the problem of democratic legitimacy, is the objective towards which the governments of the eurozone countries, the European Commission, the ECB and, in the end, even the European Parliament have, albeit very tentatively, undertaken to move in order to secure the euro, solve the sovereign debt crisis, and create a true economic and monetary union. The governments, pressured by the crisis, have had to acknowledge that it has become impossible to go on managing the monetary union through institutions and treaties that were designed simply to allow the coexistence of and cooperation between a number of states within the broader common market, and not for the purpose of governing the currency, economy, budget and fiscal system of a supranational state...

 

N. 61, June 2013

In Europe, as The Economist, too, has recently pointed out, “the reason for today’s inaction is not a shortage of things to do, but a shortage of the will to do them” (“The Sleepwalkers”, 25 May 2013). Indeed, while it is clear that completion of the four unions (banking, fiscal, economic and political) is the only way to consolidate the monetary union and create a framework that will allow Europe to overcome the present crisis and recover its capacity to grow and compete on the international stage, it is equally clear that the failure to advance swiftly in this direction is due to a lack of the real will to do so...

 

 N. 62, February 2014

The global economy looks set for more unrest, but this time it will not be the USA, or (unless there is a sudden change of direction) the eurozone at the heart of it, but rather the more vulnerable among the world’s emerging countries, which are beginning to suffer the effects both of the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy, and of the more aggressive policies now being adopted by the European countries in the arena of international trade...

 

N. 63, July 2014

A constituent legislature

In the next five years, the process of transforming the monetary union into a true political union must reach completion. Failing this, the end of the entire European project will be inevitable.
The emergence of increasingly radical political positions in the course of the recent European electoral campaign may, indeed, be seen as a sign of the vitally important role that this legislature is called upon to play. And, from this latter perspective, the outcome of the European elections must surely be considered, on balance, a positive one. First of all, the much feared wave of euroscepticism did not acquire the dimensions necessary to make it a real obstacle to the process of European integration; furthermore, the nature of the clash between the pro- and the anti-European forces has made it clear that the vast majority of European citizens are basically in favour of closer supranational integration...

 

 N. 64, January 2015

Europe at a crossroads

The recent dramatic events in Paris have provided the European governments with a brutal reminder that they find themselves at a crossroads, and this time it is a fact that no one can afford to ignore. Democratic civilisation is Europe’s model and heritage and there is now a very clear and shared sense that the values on which it is based are under threat. If, rather than transforming this sense of shared danger into a political response worthy of the challenge, the Europeans instead prefer to resort to the old national solutions, then they will have decreed the end of these values and of this civilisation; and if they do this, it will be clear that the passionate praise of Europe’s ideals and achievements, voiced during the massive joint demonstrations of January 10 that were mounted in support of the democratic model, was nothing more than rhetoric...

 

N. 65, August 2015

If one needs a clear demonstration of the fact that Europe cannot simply grind to a halt and settle for “maintaining the existing situation”, to use the expression of Italian prime minister Renzi, then one surely need look no further than the recent Greek crisis. The frantic weeks that led up to the latest agreement provide the best possible illustration of how the current eurozone system feeds a spiral of mutual distrust that, whenever necessary, is overcome only with enormous difficulty, and only to result in inadequate compromises that, being the outcomes of trials of strength more than truly shared solutions, leave lingering and dangerous resentment in their wake...

 

N. 66, January 2016

The process of European unification is in very real danger of definitively running aground. As the last European summit of 2015 confirmed, Europe is currently showing a disturbing level of division, indecisiveness and impotence. Rather than encouraging a greater unity of purpose and greater social cohesion, the various crises that have struck in recent years (the economic crisis, followed by the financial and sovereign debt crisis, and most recently the refugee emergency), not to mention the problem of Europe’s relations with Russia and the terrorist attacks linked to the war in Syria and the chaos in the Middle East, have actually made Europe less united and less compact...

 

N. 67, March 2016

The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels struck at the very heart of Europe at a time when the EU is already in chaos on account of its own structural weaknesses. And yet everything that needs to be done, and urgently, both to tackle Europe’s security problem and resolve that of its economic governance, has already been tabled and is indeed discussed by the governments, in European settings, on an almost daily basis. Europe seems to be incapable of putting the relevant proposals into practice and this is due, mainly, to the fact that the process demands the creation of a true European federal government and thus requires the national governments to take the decisive step of transferring sovereignty to Europe...

 

N. 68, October 2016

March 2017 will bring the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome: a watershed moment for the future of Europe

The message that both the European Council and the national governments are currently giving the citizens of Europe is quite devastating. At a time when, more than ever, what is needed is action and a capacity for initiative, what we instead have is a Council that has given up pursuing a political design for Europe, opting instead for “frenetic immobility” as Jürgen Habermas harshly put it this summer, and governments that are desperately seeking impossible national solutions to the various crises. Neither of these responses amounts to government, and this is precisely why confidence in the institutions and in the future is dwindling, and the selfishness in society is increasing...

 

N. 69, March 2017

The March for Europe and the breakthrough Europe needs

Last Saturday, the Italian capital provided the setting for events marking the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome. These included official institutional commemorations, but also a pro-Europe march organised by the MFE and the Union of European Federalists (UEF). This “March for Europe” was an extraordinary success, and we now need to ensure that Saturday, March 25th 2017 will, for all those who care deeply about European unification, prove to have been the turning point they were waiting for...

 

N. 70, July 2017

The extraordinary opportunity to build a federal Europe

"Accepting the status quo in Europe means accepting an increasingly bureaucratic Europe that, continuing to function purely mechanically, is no longer capable of showing the citizens where it wants to lead them, or of uniting them [...]. Europe was founded on a promise of peace, progress and prosperity. What is needed now is a project that can renew that promise [...]. At a certain point, the Treaties will have to be changed, because this Europe is incomplete: the question is not whether these changes are necessary, but when and how"...

 

N. 71, October 2018

A draft treaty for the establishment of an ad hoc budget for the eurozone

The European Union today finds itself in a crisis situation the like of which it has never experienced at any other time in its history. The unification process has stalled, and the deadlock reached cannot be attributed to specific political or economic issues, as has sometimes been the case in the past, in particular in the wake of the 2011 financial crisis and the migration crisis of 2015-2016. This time, it is a result of the electoral successes recorded by various nationalist and anti-democratic forces that would like to dismantle the structures created in the course of the European unification process, out of a desire not only to return to national sovereignties that in reality no longer exist, but also to proudly pursue illiberal political agendas...

 

N. 72, March 2019

For the first time in the history of European unification, a head of state has taken the unprecedented step of addressing all European citizens each in their own language. French president Emmanuel Macron recently did this with the precise aim of “chart[ing] together the road to European renewal”, given that “never, since the Second World War, has Europe been as essential. Yet never has Europe been in so much danger.” He sent out a message that, particularly in view of the imminent European elections, fully conveys the dramatic urgency of the present juncture and shows a clear determination to take steps to save the European project, through its own renewal...

 

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