Norman Stone on the EU and Central Europe
History Professor Norman Stone on the relations between the EU and Central Europe.
The future of the European project is arguably more uncertain than at any time since its inception with the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951, and the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1958.
In the wake of financial, currency and debt crises, and wrenching budget and spending cuts, has come the crisis caused by mass immigration.
On 23rd June 2016, Britain, the fifth largest economy in the world and the second biggest net contributor to the EU budget, will vote on whether to remain a member of the European Union.
Political opinion is divided between those who believe that the answer to Europe’s problems lies in further economic and political integration, and those who believe that it is the drive to ever closer union that is primarily responsible for the present crises, and that radical reform is therefore required. There are also sharp divergences of opinion between those who believe that the EU has contributed to European security, and those who attribute the peace and stability enjoyed by Europe to the existence of NATO.
What are Europe’s economic prospects, and what can be done to improve them? Can the EU be reformed in a way that produces greater democratic accountability as well conditions for economic growth? Has the EU helped the peace in Europe? If Britain votes to leave, will this force leaders to set a new course that respects the sovereignty of nation states, or, having rid itself of a country which was always ambivalent about the European project and perpetually dragged its feet, will the EU embark on a more rapid and smoother process of integration?
At an international DI conference on 27th May 2016, a distinguished speakers’ panel, including former economic and foreign ministers, policy analysts, and commentators discussed these and related issues. The conference was chaired by former Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi, and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont.
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