The Impact of European Integration: Political, Sociological, and Economic Changes

By George A. Kourvetaris; Andreas Moschonas | Go to book overview

12

Political European Integration:
Integration Requisites

Gianni Bonvicini

As we address the issue of the political dimension of the process of European integration, we intend to limit ourselves to the consideration of the practical effects and ad hoc experiences drawn from the application of certain policies and decision-making instruments to the building of Europe, possibly avoiding any theoretical exercise.

In fact our aim is that of reporting on the variety of different options and modifications on the way toward integration. We don't know whether a European "model" of integration can be applied outside the historical and geographical boundaries of the present European Union (EU). Today the debate about the enlargement of the EU toward Eastern countries is partly creating a similar question, although in this case we depart from the assumption that "they are Europeans anyway" and sooner or later they will join the Union. But we think that in an increasingly interdependent world, some practical measures and policies could be universally applied and achieve the same results in terms of positive integration.

This is why we continue to judge the politics of European integration as the master experience in the building of new cooperative experiences in the rest of the world. What has to be rejected is an eventual attempt to "sell" the European experience as "the absolute model. "

Today, in fact, Europe too is witnessing a process of deep transformation and redefinition of the old concept of integration. And, as usual in times of transformation, we are living in a state of crisis or of "Europessimism," if we prefer to adopt "Eurocratic" jargon. A clear need to adapt EU institutions has again emerged. But the strategy to be followed is far from being clear. And again we have to turn back to our past experiences. In other words, and in

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