A fundamental debate on the 'Future of Europe' is now underway across Europe with an official Convention headed by former French President Valerie Giscard d'Estaing considering wide ranging reforms to the existing Union. In an original and challenging contribution to this debate,
Europe Simple, Europe Strong urges a radical rethink of the framework for the continent-wide political union now possible and desirable in Europe. It argues that the key to a successful system of government is the way in which it connects two systems of choice - market choice and political choice - and that Europe's present approach is likely to lead to a situation where neither system works well. The book examines the ways in which the two systems of choice have been impacted by globalisation and the information revolution and assesses how, in this new setting, European governance can be reformed to get the best out of both systems of choice. It concludes in favour of a new and simpler democratic structure.
In looking at how systems of market choice and political choice relate to each other in today's setting, the book brings together contemporary thinking on the regulatory functions of government, the role of rights-based politics in relation to vote-based politics and the relevance of models of business organisation to the organisation of government. It places special emphasis on how constitutions can be designed to promote tolerance in pluralist societies.
Europe Simple, Europe Strong makes an original and challenging contribution to the European debate. It will be vital reading for a variety of academics and policy makers and for all those interested in the future of political union in Europe.
Frank Vibert is the Co-Founder and Director of the European Policy Forum in London.
Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. How to Look at European Governance. 2. Adapting to Shock: The New Setting for Governance. 3. Projecting the Past: Conventional Scenarios for Europe's Future. 4. The Reach of Rules. 5. Signals and Noise: the Role of Rights. 6. Networks and Nexus. 7. Simplicity. 8. Coherence. 9. The Spirit of Europe. 10. Conclusions. Notes. Bibliography. Index.