Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

How will the downturn affect the EU?

Interesting post from new EU/US politics blog Entangled Alliances, taking a look at the fate of European integration during times of recession, worth a look in full:

Economic slowdowns have historically – almost without exception – led to greater protectionism as each country faces demands from its electorate to shield them from the rising storm of global financial turbulence. This can certainly be applied to the history of European integration; the 1970s and 80s saw a halt to further integration, as well as protectionism…

For European integration itself, the 1970s and early 1980s were termed the ‘doldrum years’, as they saw virtually no new advances in integration during this time. Nevertheless, it still saw the accession of the UK, Denmark and Ireland in 1973, followed by Greece in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986. This suggests that, while deeper integration is off the cards, a widening of the Union is a still a possibility.

This therefore raises two questions: firstly, does a nasty economic downturn really preclude deeper integration? And secondly, should we look forward to another enlargement in the next couple of years?

Nice, handy overview for anyone wanting to catch up.

One Comment

  1. Governments tend to tackle economic slowdowns by spending money, trying to generate demand. Given that EU economies are so closely linked,more so today than in the 1970s….which as you pointed out was a time when the UK, Ireland and Denmark joined. Protectionism BETWEEN EU member states is out of the question.

    We would collectivly benefit from a more cordinated approach, but given the ‘lets blame the EU for everything’ approach to politics that at least effects the UK political and media and population, it could be a hard sell.

    Dont think there will be so much enlargement, partly because we are rapidly running out of candiate countries….Iceland looks like joining, as well as Croatia, but if the economic slow down benefits more reactionary elements in the Balkans, that could be it for a while.