Bloc faces stiffest test in its history

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Series Details 9.5.12
Publication Date 09/05/2012
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Article forms the lead and overview article in a FT: Special Report 'The future of the European Union 2012'.

Fifty-five years after the Treaty of Rome, which founded the European Economic Community, its successor, the EU, is battling to prove to itself and the rest of the world it can overcome its most profound challenge.

Nevertheless, the EU has also secured some solid achievements. Will the current crisis be a spur for further moves towards political union.

Other articles in the Special Report include:

+ Membership: Currency crisis exacerbates ‘enlargement fatigue’. A two-tier or multi-tier EU might ease the path for new members, explains Neil Buckley

+ Eurozone crisis: Markets fret that austerity medicine will kill patient. Many economists believe fiscal union is essential if the single currency is to survive, says Peter Spiegel

+ Britain and the EU: Public scepticism masks efforts to rebuild entente. Government leaders know the UK’s economic fate is tied to Europe, writes George Parker

+ Foreign affairs: Developing joint policies is a slow and difficult job. James Blitz considers the obstacles to common diplomatic and defence strategies

+ A single market: Small steps, not big leaps. There is little agreement over what finishing the EU’s internal market entails, writes Alex Barker

+ Institutions: Problems point to path of closer embrace.
Painful treaty renegotiation is needed to tighten eurozone economic rules, writes Jonathan Ford

+ Renewable energy: Clean power needs serious investment
Joshua Chaffin says spending on infrastructure and overhaul of markets are necessary to expand production

+ Franco-German links: No time for two central nations to squabble. Events have thrown into relief the cracks in a relationship that has always required work, writes Quentin Peel

+ Guest column: Is Europe destined to become super Monaco, or superpower? The economic crisis has brought home the fragility of the European edifice, says Radoslaw Sikorski, foreign minister of Poland

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