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Friday, May 13, 2011

The E.U. States on Bailouts and Immigration: Where Lies the Vulnerability?

The history of the E.U. and its predecessor, the EEC, can be characterized as a series of fits and starts. For example, at one point France vetoed the accession of the U.K. as a state. Before long, Britain was in and the EEC could step forward. At another point, the proposed “constitutional treaty” was voted down in referendums in two states. A few years later, the Lisbon amendment was ratified and the E.U. could adjust, albeit piecemeal, to being larger. Without knowing the overall pattern in this history, one could easily take one of the backward steps for the demise of the union. Even an awareness of the pattern is not sufficient to arrest doubts. Moreover, a back step can be of sufficient symbolic value that it breaks even the “fit and start” pattern with truly dire consequences. Given the overall pattern, however, it is difficult to discern such a baleful symbolic move back.

The full essay is at "Essays on the E.U. Political Economy," available at Amazon.