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Legitimate Diversity: the New Challenge of European Integration

  • Economics
  • Political Science


European public policy has succeeded in its economic goals of integrating theinternal market and creating the monetary union. But it is now confronted with criticalchallenges which cannot be effectively resolved within the Union’s present governingmodes. While these governing modes differ from one another, they share two essentialrequirements: effective European policy depends on high levels of consensus amongmember governments, and it must, at least in principle, provide for uniform rules acrossall member states. By and large, these requirements could be simultaneously satisfied inthe policy processes that brought about economic integration. That is no longer true ofthe present set of new challenges — among which I have discussed the need for rapidpeace-keeping and peace-making interventions in conflicts affecting common Europeansecurity, the need to facilitate the economic, social and political development of accessionstates in Central and Eastern Europe, and the need for protecting the plurality ofEuropean social models against the constraints and pressures of integrated markets. Ineach of these areas, I have tried to show, the dual conditions of broad consensus anduniform policy cannot be satisfied at the same time.

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