IS THE EUROPEAN UNION JUST A FADING COLLECTION OF STARS?
Or is it biding its time before another renaissance?
The UK is at a crossroads. In many respects, it’s part of Europe’s foundation. However, a growing number of Britons believe that the country is better off outside, rather than inside, the European Union (EU).
With this in mind, the King's College London Policy Institute has held a series of high-profile lectures, seminars and conferences exploring the medium-term impact of the crisis in the EU. The Europe in Crisis project is run by Sir Nigel Sheinwald, former UK Ambassador to the EU and the US, and Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s.
The events have raised concerns and issues around economic and political governance within the EU. The solutions to these questions could lead to:
- greater integration between members
- closer budgetary surveillance
- the possibility of a separate Eurozone budget
There is real concern as to whether or not the single currency will survive without increased fiscal unity. Further integration raises the prospect of a two-tier system within the EU, with potentially serious implications for states in the second tier (notably the UK).
Regardless of the eventual outcome, this crisis will exert a significant longer-term impact on the UK, whatever role it chooses to play in the union.
It’s therefore vital that the UK understands how it has made, and continues to make, its presence felt in Europe. This influence has characterised the history and foreign policy of the UK for centuries.
At the moment, there is a lack of academic dialogue around the importance of the UK’s involvement in the EU, both in terms of the benefits of membership and for the union itself. We aim to develop the knowledge crucial to understanding the UK’s role in Europe. British interests are intertwined with those of Europe.
In the 40 years since Britain joined the European Economic Community (EEC), British leadership has been instrumental to some of the many successes within Europe. Two notable examples include helping to create the single market, and expanding membership of the union.
The project’s mission is to create a dialogue around the importance of the UK’s involvement in Europe, and share experts’ knowledge in order to investigate the value of continued British membership in the EU.
Speakers so far include Sir Jon Cunliffe, Permanent Representative to the EU, George Parker, former Brussels correspondent, The Financial Times, and Jean-Claude Piris, former Director General of the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union. Some of the questions that have been debated include:
- Europe: Future Directions
- Reporting Europe
- Creating a global role for Britain in a reformed Europe
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