What Italy’s Election Means for the EU
The EU – and the eurozone, in particular – are now facing a serious political challenge, exemplified by the outcome of Italy’s recent election. Are European institutions strong enough to confront that challenge, or must EU leaders rethink – and potentially recast – the pillars of cooperation?
ROME – Italy’s recent election – in which voters rebuffed traditional parties in favor of anti-establishment and far-right movements, producing a hung parliament – should serve as a wake-up call for Europe. The decades-old project of building European unity may not just be far less robust than assumed; without a significant rethink, it may not even be viable.
The financial crisis of 2008 and the debt crisis that followed revealed major flaws in the governance of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Member states responded by building new institutions, such as the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the European Stability Mechanism. These efforts are, however, almost certainly inadequate to make the EMU resilient enough to withstand future financial crises. Anyone who believes in the European project should hope that further reforms follow soon.
But there is an even more urgent task at hand. The European Union (EU) and the EMU, in particular, are now facing a serious political challenge, exemplified by Italy’s recent election. Are European institutions strong enough to confront that challenge, or must we reconsider – and potentially recast – the pillars of European cooperation?