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Politics and Finance in the European Union

The Reasons for a Difficult Encounter

Autori Capriglione Francesco, Sacco Ginevri Andrea
— CEDAM — Anno 2016

The recent financial and sovereign debt crisis, while turning the spotlight into the degenerating effects of modern-day capitalism, has engendered a series of hard-to-control events that are severely testing the stability of the European institutions. The adjustments, to date, have proved unable to adequately tackle the financial turmoil that is undermining the construction of the EU. Hence the need to identify the reasons behind this situation, which is accompanied by the failure to achieve an osmosis between the member countries of the Union. The objective to be pursued is clarifying the uncertainties and contradictions within Europe, for the purpose of addressing what many see as a “systemic crisis”.
Therefore, the need arises to investigate the relationship between politics and , on which the socio-economic balance of the EU and the achievement of equal development for its members depends. We must look at how politics has managed the economic processes, faced with the limits of the intergovernmental model, which has caused the delays and disagreements between the member states, too interested in protecting their national interests. We examine the commitment of technique (highlighted by the recent interventions by the ECB), which stands in for political, without, however, being able to activate the positive drives (typical of politics) towards greater cohesion among the different countries. The dysfunctions of this system can be seen in the significant gap between the components of the Union, marked by problems of cohesion, and also hindered by the negative effects of the austerity measures imposed by the European leadership. The geopolitical situation of the ‘old continent’, on the other hand, shows how the widening of this gap is accompanied by Germany’s hegemonic attitude, with obvious reflections on the stability of the Franco-German axis and the ambivalent behavior of the UK. The «Greek situation», together with the dynamics of its bailout, are an emblematic aspect of this reality. The euro has failed to live up to the expectations surrounding it and the claim that it is an irreversible process has been disputed, in the face of a growing wave of Euroscepticism and populism. These are all indicators of an ‘identity crisis’, with regard to the identification of a ‘common destiny’ of the European peoples; however, the doubt that the ‘European dream’ was, perhaps, a bit too ambitious seems to be contradicted by the deep sense of unity that Europe still manages to display at times of common hardship.

 
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