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Brexit, the immigration crisis, Europe-wide economic stagnation, rising geopolitical tension in the eastern and southern border areas, populist, EU-critical political mobilisation in all member states, increasing difficulties in striking a deal about anything in the union; these are some of the well-known current problems of the European Union. The sheer number of problems, not to mention the difficulty of solving even one of them, is a good reason for asking whether there is any point in publishing yet another book about a union which may well fall apart in the near future.
Well, as one of the two editors (with Jari Aro) and a contributor to five chapters of a new book, which just came out from Palgrave (see: https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9783319648484 ), and which carries the title of this blog entry, I think there is.
First, I believe that the union is probably emerging from its current problems. How exactly this will happen and what kind of union it will be in future is unknown at the moment, but we can study the facts, pay attention to trends and make educated guesses. This is what the chapters of the book are all about.
Second, even if the union collapses or becomes marginalised to the extent to which it loses most of its power to shape the future of Europe – as has been predicted by some scholars and a vast number of populist politicians – its heritage and its member states will still be here. Within the ruins of the union, they will provide the building blocks of a future Europe. This too is discussed in the book.
There are some background assumptions on which the book is built:
All the chapters in the book deal with one or more of these questions, and the opening and closing chapters aim to cover most of the discussion by dealing with all four.Back to top of article