Europe simple, Europe strong. The future of European governance

Author (Person)
Publication Date 2001
ISBN 0-7456-2852-4 (Hbk); 0-7456-2853-2 (Pbk)
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Book abstract:

Bigger and better ? Larger and less complex? As the European Convention prepares to outline its ideas on the future of Europe, this book contests these arguments whilst addressing the mix of economic, political, legal and philosophical issues involved in a continent-wide system of government.

The work is organised over nine chapters following the author's introduction. The view of European Governance as seen by an outside observer is explored in chapter one and importance is given to the role of government in connecting the two systems of choice - market choice and political choice. The climate in which governance operates today is examined in chapter two, which analyses the development of market sensitive mechanisms for people to exercise choices and goes on to discuss the various adaptations that might be made to systems of government leading from that diagnosis. The tendency for politicians and economists to predict mankind's future by a study of his past and the dangers that stance poses to the future governance of Europe are ventilated in chapter four. The rule making functions of government, the role of rights and their interplay with representative democracy, the framework of governance and it's appetite for 'more is better' are discussed through chapters four to six, whilst the prospect for a simplified structure and the form that might take are discussed in chapter seven. The two main arguments against simple governance are that it will not provide the coherence that a political system requires, and that it will not answer the moral dimension of European political union. These viewpoints are dissected in chapters eight and nine. The wider implications of designing for a simple system of government for Europe, including the constitutional consequences are covered in the final concluding chapter.

The work will interest students, scholars and policy makers and researchers in European Studies and the future of political union in Europe.

Frank Vibert is cofounder and Director of the European Policy Forum.

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