Ever closer union

Gideon Rachman chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times

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Gideon Rachman

Gideon Rachman blog at FT

If Europe cannot bend it will break
Germany’s tough approach is based on a realistic assessment of how hard it will be to get reforms through a 28-member EU
— as well as a profound aversion to rolling back the process of EU integration.
But it is also an alarming commentary on Europe’s inability to respond to changed circumstances, whether it is a 25 per cent shrinkage in the Greek economy,
or the unanticipated migration of millions of people across the EU.
Gideon Rachman, FT 8 June 2015

To argue that the weekend’s vote was actually about immigration or the economy – and not about Europe – is to miss the point.
There will be no serious adjustments of policy, since it will just be too hard to agree what to do.
That kind of complacency is Europe’s default reaction to political revolts from the unenlightened masses, otherwise known as voters.
Gideon Rachman, FT May 26, 2014

Mr Draghi’s magic bullet has badly wounded something even more important – democracy in Europe. Certainly, for anyone with a sense of history, the sight of the German representative on the ECB being isolated and outvoted should be chilling.
Since 1945, the central idea of the European project was never again to leave a powerful and aggrieved Germany isolated at the centre of Europe.
Gideon Rachman, Financial Times, September 10, 2012

If you want to understand what is happening to the European Union’s constitution, the EU flag is a good place to start
Gideon Rachman, Financial Times June 12 2007

Those who argue that “political union” is the solution to the current crisis seem to believe that Europe’s problem is institutional. Unlike the US, the eurozone does not have the political institutions to back up a common currency. But if Europe was just equipped with a finance ministry or the facility to issue eurozone bonds or to tax citizens directly, everything could be fixed. This is a profound misdiagnosis of the crisis.

Those who argue that “political union” is the solution to the current crisis seem to believe that Europe’s problem is institutional. The real problem is political and cultural.
There is not a strong enough common political identity in Europe to support the single currency.
That is why German, Dutch and Finnish voters are revolting against the idea of bailing out Greece again – while Greeks riot against what they see as a new colonialism imposed from Brussels and Frankfurt.
Gideon Rachman, 20 June 2011

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"ever closer union"

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There is the argument in government ministries and the smoke-free conference rooms of Brussels.
But the future of the European economy and its single currency is more likely to be decided on the streets.
Gideon Rachman, FT October 18 2010


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How do you balance the moral hazards of propping up the banks,
with the practical hazards of letting them default?

Gideon Rachman, FT December 6 2010

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The deal reached to strengthen the bloc’s €440bn rescue fund
But, have no doubt, the European debt crisis will return.
Gideon Rachman, FT March 14 2011

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The euro’s big fat failed wedding
The European Union was banking on three forms of convergence: economic, political and popular.
Gideon Rachman March 29 2010

Greece threatens more than the euro
The risk for Europe now is that if the EU does not move forward politically in response to the Greek crisis, it will move backwards – and the long process of European integration could start to unravel.
Gideon Rachman, FT. February 22 2010

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