Reaffirming Europe

The ongoing global economic crisis is calling into question the very foundations of the European Union. There is thus an urgent need to reassert Europe's core character and identity by rejecting protectionism, strengthening EU institutions, and completing the EU enlargement process.

ROME/STOCKHOLM – The ongoing global economic crisis is shaking beliefs and approaches that have long been enshrined in European policies. Indeed, the crisis is calling into question the very foundations of the European Union. There is thus an urgent need to reassert the core character and identity of Europe. The very nature of our European model – a model that is open internally, externally, and globally – must be reaffirmed.

Internally, Europe should remain both an open society and an open economy. We should fight against the protectionist temptations that would unravel the very foundation of the European project, a project based on the “four freedoms”: free movement of goods, people, services, and capital.

But the European economic recovery plan that was recently reaffirmed by the European Council of Ministers is mainly focused on national measures to support domestic demand. In implementing this plan, governments must refrain from the temptation to turn national measures into narrow protectionist schemes. Such a development would threaten growing unemployment in Europe and elsewhere, and make fighting the crisis much more difficult. So a return of economic, social, or political nationalism is simply not an option.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/6j5RFIV;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.