Quo Vadis? Identity, policy and the future of the European Union
The aim of this eBook is to focus on the post-crisis ‘socio-economic policy’ identity of the European Union in the post-crisis period. The emphasis is not on where the EU has come from but where it appears to be going, where it should be going and what sorts of difficulties this might imply for the success of the EU and its various major policy domains. This is perhaps best understood by focusing on the EU’s economic policy ‘identity markers’ prior to the crisis and what has emerged in the aftermath.
The policy identity of the EU has evolved a long way from its 1990s emphasis on solidarity, a budding social Europe, and a broadening of competencies. Electorates and governments alike have long forgot the war-torn origins of the beast. Instead, members vote to leave. An identity based on self-insurance, stagnation, decision-making inefficiency and introspection would excite populism and extremism in any one country and is doing so across the EU. The notion that politics and discretionary policy counts and can deliver (never mind redistribution) appears to have been abandoned. If this redistributional identity and machinery
remains moribund and the decision-making machinery paralysed, Brexit will generate imitators in the wings and may be doing so now.
So, where does the EU go from here? This volume is all about the
re-launch and presents a wide range of, often clashing, ideas about and policy solutions to the dilemmas we face. What common-good dilemmas should the European Union address and how should it do so; including climate change, security against terrorist threats, youth unemployment? What should be the balance between subsidiarity and solidarity principles? This question has been complicated by the election of Donald Trump and the surge of populist-nationalist parties across Europe. Trends towards more nationalist and protectionist policy agendas might make any further integration in Europe difficult. By including columns from both economists and political scientists, we aim to provide as broad a perspective as possible and have as broad an
impact as possible, as a start to conversation on a sustainable future for Europe.