A Homeless Ghost? European Legal Integration in Search of a Polity

A member of the European Parliament recently compared the European Union to an Airbus on autopilot attempting to cross the Alps without taking off the ground. Be it the EU’s piecemeal approach to fixing its economic governance post-financial crisis or its inability to speak with one voice in matters of common concern from internal border management to external trade: there is a growing sense of urgency in reforming the EU legal architecture to steer European integration back on course. However, such functional necessities are unlikely to sway the peoples of Europe who – tired of the EU’s attempts at technocratic self-rule – increasingly retreat into the homeliness of their nation-states. From the early ‘no more’ war discourse to the ‘no choice’ rhetoric of late in governing a Union in crisis, European integration has often been presented as a political inevitability. Yet it appears that the most ambitious modern project of legal and political integration beyond the state has come to a halt – where from here?

Continue Reading →