The Eurozone financial crisis has deeply challenged Europe, with more and more people trying to foresee the trajectories that will define EU governance and policy in the forthcoming decades. A group of Italian scholars coordinated by Nathalie Tocci, the Deputy Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome, just published an interesting research paper discussing what model of governance the EU could head towards, and which of these models is best suited for the purpose of a more united and effective Union.
According to Dr. Tocci, "the crisis has accelerated policy and institutional integration in ways thought unthinkable only a few years ago. At the same time, the economic crisis and the ensuing societal and political malaise have generated centrifugal forces across the Union, threatening the very essence of the European project." It is argued that "the challenge for committed Europeans is that of reconnecting these two levels through a virtuous circle. Such a dynamic can only start if one imagines a new Europe, one that reconciles Europeans with the integration project by re-endowing the Union with its lost legitimacy, in terms of its ability to deliver peace and prosperity to its citizens and to do so through an inclusive and accountable democratic process."
The main strength of this paper is that it does not describe European contemporary problems only; rather it examines a few solutions to exit the current stalemate. The global context in which Europe needs to interact and the challenges it has to face have changed, forcing the EU to change accordingly. As Dr. Tocci clearly explains, "to do so, the EU must be legitimate and effective within its borders, and from this position it must be able to project its full economic, strategic and normative weight in its neighbourhood and beyond."
To help Bruxelles achieving this extremely ambitious target, and aware that "a full recovery from the economic crisis is the necessary premise upon which any political and institutional way forward can be sought", the Italian paper tests the new governance models "in terms of the unity, effectiveness and governability of the EU."