Monitoring European Integration
MEI 6: Flexible Integration: Towards a More Effective and Democratic Europe. Monitoring European Integration 6
The European Union faces difficult challenges: to go on with further enlargement; to reconcile radically different views on the appropriate scope and depth of integration; and to close the democratic deficit and revive public support for the Union. Written by a distinguished team of academics from six countries to inform public opinion before the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference, CEPR�s sixth Monitoring European Integration Report argues for significant economic, political and legal reforms of the Union to meet these challenges.
Flexible Integration is a model of reform designed to overcome the current stalemate between federalists and anti-federalists. It introduces more flexibility to accommodate the heterogeneous interests in Europe without risking the gains achieved through past integration. Flexible integration combines firm commitment by all members to a common supranational common base � including a well-defined set of competences related to the Single Market � with optional integration in other areas through open partnerships.
Within these ramifications, the report discusses a number of specific reforms, including: how to introduce a hierarchy of European Law, making the Union�s legal structure more flexible and transparent; how to improve enforcement of the Single Market, realising the vision underlying the four freedoms; how to achieve macroeconomic coordination without the tarnished exchange rate mechanism, while accommodating the different views on the single currency; and how to make political decision-making more efficient and legitimate, representing and balancing different European interests and making decision-makers more directly accountable to the citizens of Europe.