Reflections on the European Project: Some Thoughts on the Agenda

I was delighted to be invited by D. Chalmers, M. Jachtenfuchs and C. Joerges to join them and others in a reflection on the European project triggered by their book, The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream: Adjusting to European Diversity’. It is always useful to rethink the European project. Yet, this is a great challenge and ‘some humility is required’ as the editors themselves make it clear at the outset. One ought to be cautious to take a broad spectrum so as to avoid the temptation of narrowing down concerns to a specific set of events such as Brexit or ‘a crisis’. The process of European integration is indeed so advanced that a narrow approach could result in a biased analysis. Meanwhile, one still needs to be precise and concrete so as to induce a constructive dialogue for change.

This edited volume is a powerful attempt at addressing these challenges. It brings together contributions from a wide range of renown academics from across Europe (if not beyond) and various disciplines from law to philosophy, with a stopover in political science. The authors examine several dimensions of European integration placed under strain in recent years, ranging from the monetary union, fiscal policy to concerns for citizenship. Contributors also investigate important horizontal institutional questions such as accountability of the EU executive or the characteristics of EU decision-making. The editors finally seek to draw general observations on the tensions underlying the process of European integration in opening and closing chapters. The book thus unquestionably adopts the warranted broad approach and brings together advanced expertise on each topic.

Having enjoyed reading through these Chapters and rather than discussing specific aspects, I would like to share three thoughts triggered by this stimulating read ...

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