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Friday, June 14, 2013

Recommended lecture of the month - June 2013 - Grainne de Burca: "Europe's Raison d'Etre"

A very interesting argument of what EU was, it is and of what it should become.
"What is the raison d’être of the European Union? Does it still make sense to ask this question today? Launched in 1952 as a kind of pilot project of limited economic integration with a view to securing greater peace and prosperity for its Member States, the EU has evolved into something much larger, more complex and more ambitious. This chapter argues, contrary to the recent suggestion of an influential commentator, that the question of the EU’s mission or raison d’être still matters today, and not only because of the serious economic crisis in which it has been mired since 2007. I argue that while the European Union at its origin was primarily inwardly focused on repairing and strengthening a damaged continent so as to deliver internal peace and prosperity, it has become as much or more concerned today with its external dimension, namely with enhancing Europe’s global economic and political influence and role. That is not to say either that the external dimension of European integration was unimportant at the time the Community was first created, nor that internal peace and prosperity has ceased to be a central concern in the present day. Far from it. Nevertheless, the last two decades in particular have brought a more sustained focus on the external and global significance of European integration, and when the question of Europe’s raison d’être is raised today, the importance of having a relatively unified European political system to counterbalance the influence of other existing and rising powers has become a more significant part of the answer than was ever previously the case."

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