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How to Make EU Integration Popular

Across the European Union, fears about globalization and antipathy to integration and immigration have produced massive political fallout, including the failed French and Dutch referenda on the Union’s draft constitutional treaty and a de facto moratorium on accession talks with Turkey. The European Council and the Commission have watched helplessly, as if the matter was not in their hands.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the EU’s inability to meet the challenges of integration is due to rigid economic structures and inadequate human capital – weaknesses that can only be tackled effectively by national policies, where the Union has little role to play. But substantial policy spillover across the EU justifies strengthened policy coordination for labor-market and welfare reform.