7 Extending Pax Europea

It is a commonplace that the Union looks bigger from outside than from inside, although this very much depends on the eye of the beholder. Other Europeans tend to treat it with respect, usually combined with strong doses of desire. In the rest of the world, however attitudes vary: from admiration in Africa and Latin America, where the EU is seen as an impossible model to follow, to incomprehension in most of south-east Asia, whose economic tigers apparently have little time to spare for supranationality, democratic pluralism, and the costly social model associated with Europe. The Union is universally regarded as a powerful economic bloc with an extremely complex system of decision-making, which makes it a difficult partner to negotiate with. On the other hand, foreigners rarely fail to notice the limitations of the European civilian power. They have learned from experience that, when the guns begin to speak, the Union usually has precious little to say. Strangely enough, its difference from a real superpower became more obvious after the end of the cold war, which ushered in a new phase of undisputed US hegemony.

The Union exerts its strongest influence on other countries through the prospect of membership. This is the most effective way of extending Pax Europea, which carries with it peace, democracy, welfare, and a highly advanced form of joint management of interdependence. Membership of the Union comes with several preconditions; these have become increasingly difficult over time and, once a country has joined, socialization (and Europeanization) becomes an ongoing process. Sharing sovereignty can be learned only the hard way, not through the texts prescribed for candidates. With repeated rounds of enlargement, the Community and now the Union has been spreading its gospel

-167-

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What Kind of Europe?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • What Kind of Europe? iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1: What Kind of Europe? 1
  • Part I Taking Stock 11
  • 2: The Gap Between Politics and Economics—or, Perception and Reality 13
  • 3: Winners and Losers . . . 43
  • 4: And the Rest of the World 66
  • Part II the Main Challenges Ahead 93
  • 5: Economic Governance and Policy Choices 95
  • 6: Emu: A Unifying Factor 142
  • 7: Extending Pax Europea 167
  • Part III Conclusions 201
  • 8: What is at Stake? 203
  • Select Bibliography 223
  • Figures and Table 232
  • Abbreviations 233
  • Index 235
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