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Britain, Ireland, and Europe

Editor’s Note: The following is an edited version of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation Annual Lecture, delivered in Dublin on May 22, 2013

There are five themes running through my remarks.

First, deeply embedded trends demonstrate that, while the European Union is risky in the short term, it will be strong in the medium and long terms. The EU has a powerful logic and purpose in the twenty-first century.

Second, in the debate about fiscal consolidation and structural reform, Western economies have not yet achieved the right balance of deficit reduction, incentives for innovation, and macroeconomic stimulus, but there are signs of change coming from Brussels.