Tribune européenne, Futuribles Journal n° 421

Institutions

Toward the Return of Federalism?

Sixty years after the European Union (EU) was formed with the signing of the Treaty of Rome, its governing bodies initiated a process of reflection on the future of Europe. We reflected this discussion in our July/August issue (419) with Gabriel Arnoux’s article on the various scenarios for the sharing of competences between the Union and its member states. Jean-François Drevet continues that examination of the EU’s possible futures here by looking into the institutional dimension and the prospects for a move in the direction of federalism. There are so many sticking points and member states are so attached to their sovereignty that this debate, recurrent since the creation of the EU, between the advocates of intergovernmental operation and the proponents of federalism has for many years seen the former group in the ascendant. Nevertheless, times are changing and, both at the socioeconomic and geopolitical levels, the limitations of that intergovernmental operation are beginning to show. The time has perhaps come, as this column suggests, to look more objectively at the advantages a shift to federalism would bring — and to prepare European citizens for it.

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