I was in Brussels this week, on April 21, 2022, to speak at the final conference of the EU IDEA Horizon 2020 project. I was on the final panel opposite Herman van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council (2009-2014), in which we both addressed the topic: “A differentiated Union in a complex world.” While the former President of the European Council discussed global issues and the clash of values in the world today, and how they affect the European Union, I discussed the clash of “big ideas,” including neo-liberalism, populism, and progressivism. I focused on the critical elections in France on Sunday, April 24, and their potential impact on Europe. I offered a pessimistic view of what would happen were Marine Le Pen to win and implement her pledge to turn the European Union into a “Europe of Nations,” down-grading human rights, an optimistic view were Macron to win and to implement all of his visionary promises, and a realistic view, in which the EU continues to muddle through, doing a bit better in all areas.
On May 27, 2021, I participated in a roundtable for the launch of a book (in which I have a chapter) entitled Our European Future, edited and published by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies. In my talk (and chapter) entitled: “European Economic Governance: Key issues to assess its recent past and its desirable evolution,” I discussed the problems of the past and offered some new ideas for the future of EU economic governance.
In a recent piece for Social Europe, I make the case that the Conference on the Future of Europe needs to address how EU governance can be refitted to end the crisis of legitimacy.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been something of a wake-up call for the European Union. The EU finally recognised that the eurozone economic policies it had been pursuing since the 1990s—reinforced at the outset of the eurozone crisis in 2010—had been deleterious to the wellbeing of its citizens and the planet.
The obsession with ‘governing by rules and ruling by numbers’ through the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), focused on low deficit and debts, meant that the EU had failed to invest in its future. Such rules and numbers ensured that those without the ‘fiscal space’ (read southern Europe) could not invest, while those with the fiscal space (northern Europe) did not. The EU’s eurozone governance engendered a ‘crisis of legitimacy’, in which doubling down on the procedural rules led to poor economic performance and increasingly toxic politics.
The podcast explores cutting-edge thinking on politics, economy and employment & labor with some of the most thought-provoking people around, including Nobel Prize winners and other internationally acclaimed experts. I talked about wavering trust in governing activities and authorities in the Eurozone and the different measures of governing legitimacy I use to gauge European Union actors’ legitimacy in the aftermath the Eurozone Crisis.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at the Pardee School of Global Studies has launched a new video series called “The World After Coronavirus,” (#WorldAfterCorona) exploring how the future will change after coronavirus. The series will engage leading experts and practitioners from Boston University and across the world to explore the challenges and opportunities we will face in our post-coronavirus future.
I was one of the first experts interviewed in series, which is is hosted by Prof. Adil Najam, Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies and former Director of the Pardee Center.
Watch this short video promoting the sixteenth edition of Social policy in the European Union: State of Play, in which I have a major chapter. The book has a triple ambition. First, it provides easily accessible information to a wide audience about recent developments in both EU and domestic social policymaking. Second, the volume provides a more analytical reading, embedding the key developments of the year 2014 in the most recent academic discourses. Third, the forward-looking perspective of the book aims to provide stakeholders and policymakers with specific tools that allow them to discern new opportunities to influence policymaking.
In this 2015 edition of Social policy in the European Union: state of play, the authors tackle the topics of the state of EU politics after the parliamentary elections, the socialisation of the European Semester, methods of political protest, the Juncker investment plan, the EU’s contradictory education investment, the EU’s contested influence on national healthcare reforms, and the neoliberal Trojan Horse of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).