The state of our unsettled Union
Title: The state of our unsettled Union
Author: LAFFAN, Brigid
Citation: International journal of constitutional law, 2014, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 853-863
ISSN: 1474-2659; 1474-2640
This is a time of transition for the European Union (EU), and 2014 is a year of renewal for European institutions, involving elections to the European Parliament and the beginning of a five-year legislative term under new leadership in the Commission, the European Council, and the External Action Service (EES). The EU has been tested—perhaps like never before—during the Eurozone crisis. The Union’s legal framework, its governance structures, its ability to respond to pressing societal needs and relations among the member states, have all been placed under severe strain since 2009. The Union managed to battle through the acute phase of the crisis albeit at a high social, political, and economic cost and is in mending mode. The address develops four analytic propositions about the state of the Union arising from observable trends in this crisis phase of European Union integration. The four propositions are (i) that contestation and politicization in the Union are here to stay; (ii) that the euro area mark 2.0 implies “more Europe”; (iii) that “more Europe” in the euro area implies even more differentiation in the Union; and (iv) that the return of geopolitics puts the spotlight on the Union’s role in twenty-first-century world politics. The future of the EU will be shaped by the interaction of these four dynamics.
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