Towards a Global Polity

By Morten Ougaard; Richard Higgott | Go to book overview

9

Europe

Regional laboratory for a global polity?

Knud Erik Jørgensen and Ben Rosamond

Our European model of integration is the most developed in the world. Imperfect though it still is, it nevertheless works on a continental scale. Given the necessary institutional reforms it should continue to work well after enlargement, and I believe we can make a convincing case that it would also work globally

(Romano Prodi, 31 March 2000)

There is in effect now more of 'the world' in Europe than of Europe in the world.

(Zaki Laïdi 1998:82-83)

Does Europe really have any collective sense of how it can and should stand up for the principles and ideas that (with American help) shaped our current destiny? Do we have in Europe any remaining value driven vision of the world?

(Chris Patten 1998:324-325)


Introduction

This chapter is about the European Union and or perhaps in the global polity. The choice of 'in' rather than 'and' promises to take the argument in a very particular direction. At the risk of indulging in semantic excess, the idea of the European Union (EU) in the global polity invites us to think outwards from the EU. It invites us to contemplate issues such as the role of regional integration schemes in an evolving system of global governance or the capacity of organisations such as the EU to exercise 'actorness' in world politics. It might involve inverting the problem and thinking about how the development of a global polity might influence European integration or shape patterns of European governance within and among the member-states of the EU. In carries the connotation that we are dealing with separate spheres of action when we discuss the global polity and the EU - that one impacts upon the other or that the latter constitutes itself within the former.

And, we suggest, connotes something rather different. The emphasis

-189-

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