Alternative Political and Economic Futures for Europe

12 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2013

Date Written: October 15, 2012


Defeat of a proposed constitution for the European Union by voters in France and the Netherlands in 2005 should have provided an opportunity to reflect on a broader range of alternative political and economic futures for Europe. But it did not. For the Lisbon Treaty, which became effective in December 2009, implemented most of the provisions of the proposed constitution that the voters rejected more than four years prior. It was important to reconsider the major current European political and economic institutions as well as alternative steps toward further European integration. For the major current institutions were created under different conditions, and the experience suggests that they may not best serve the peoples of Europe under current and expected future conditions. The major alternative political and economic futures for Europe are nationalism, selective functional integration, an association of European states, and a European state. This article addresses the considerations that bear on the choice among these alternatives.

Keywords: European union, European politics, European economic, financial crisis

JEL Classification: E00, F02, F36

Suggested Citation

Niskanen, William A., Alternative Political and Economic Futures for Europe (October 15, 2012). Cato Journal, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2012, Available at SSRN:

William A. Niskanen (Contact Author)

Cato Institute ( email )

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