The European Union at Twenty: Can Europe Be Saved?

Frédéric Bozo

in International Relations Since the End of the Cold War

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199666430
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745607 | DOI:
The European Union at Twenty: Can Europe Be Saved?

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Twenty years after its creation, the current euro crisis is a defining moment for the European Union. This chapter seeks to explain the crisis in historical terms by exploring the past two decades of European construction. Against the backdrop of the end of the Cold War, the Maastricht treaty was an ambivalent achievement. For a while at least, it proved to be a success: during the 1990’s, the EU prospered and asserted itself as the cornerstone of post- Cold War Europe. Yet over the first decade of the 21st century, the European Union’s record became steadily tarnished: the EU failed to build up into a global power, as Europeanists had hoped; worse yet, its profound structural flaws were exposed by the 2008 global economic and financial crisis, leading to the current conundrum. The chapter examines possible scenarios and asks under what conditions Europe can be overcome its current trials. It argues that the time has come to move beyond the ambivalence of the Maastricht moment.

Keywords: European Union; sovereign debt crisis; euro; Maastricht Treaty; European construction

Chapter.  7967 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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