Quo vadis Europe? The Union between diminished ambition and the creation of public goods
January 24, 2017
March 25, 2017 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the European Economic Community. Yet, the day that the Treaty of Rome will be commemorated risks to be an unhappy birthday for the Old Continent. As highlighted by the letter of EC President Donald Tusk that preceded the Bratislava summit last September, the road to a stronger union, as outlined in the Treaty of Rome, has been interrupted.
In a paper presented at the conference Europe 2017: Make It or Break It?, Sergio Fabbrini and Marcello Messori, alongside Franco Bruni, propose a possible recipe to change the fate of the Union that seems to already be written in the stars: concentrate political-economic strength into the creation of European public good to finance with resources controlled by the EU or the Euro zone. A policy to pursue immediately to help the Union demonstrate the unsoundness of the populist message that claims that “European integration is a failed project”.
The creation of public goods could, in fact, support growth and favor convergence between central and peripheral states, putting a stop to Euro-skeptic trends. The worsening of the global geopolitical scenario, with phenomenon such as the Brexit results and the election of Trump, seem to have cast doubt on the future of continental policies already in crises. Improving the cohesion of the Union would be an important step forward in resolving institutional and governance issues that are currently creating obstacles for integration.
Italy, in a delicate yet important situation, has the possibility – or responsibility – to contribute to short-term actions or to relaunch constructive dialogue on long-term operations to undertake in order to properly celebrate the Treaty of Rome.