EU puts ‘ever closer union’ on hold

Jorge Valero, Euractiv, 12.10.2016

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As the EU prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the “ever closer union” principle that underpinned the European project is being put on hold as the bloc struggles to survive its annus horribilis. [...]

The future looks gloomy. EU institutions and national governments “will continue with this muddling, progressing step by step toward the lowest common denominator, with no clear vision”, Janis Emmanouilidis, Director of Studies at the EPC, commented. [...]

“The problem is much deeper,” agreed Emmanouilidis. “Mainstream parties have lost not only room for maneuvering because of the populist parties. The biggest risk is the polarization between the winners and losers,” of the current system, he added. [...]

“It is a vicious circle,” adds Emmanouilidis, because some of the measures that could help to narrow the gap between the winners and losers are getting sidelined. [...]

When the EU faces its worst humanitarian crisis on its soil, and still struggles to deal with the collateral damage of the Great Recession, free InterRail tickets, the end of roaming ,or free wifi “of course is not enough”, emphasised Emmanouilidis. [...]

“I have a sense of déjà vu when I read about a lot of them,” Emmanouilidis said. [...]

Europe could also aim for the stars, but only if it fixes its backyard first. “The national narratives about Europe are in crisis,” Emmanouilidis stated. [...]

Read full interview here



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