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Alberto Martinelli *
(*) Autore principale:
Alberto Martinelli |


Written on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of 1957 Treaties of Rome, the essay reviews the main stages of Europe’s integration process, its achievements and failures, its crises and strategies for a necessary revival. The essay argues that the evolution toward an ever greater and diversified union was made possible by a compromise between the supranational-communitarian and the intergovernmental method of governance. The essay criticizes the fact that the transfer of quotas of national sovereignty to the supranational level has not be accompanied by an equivalent transfer of loyalty and commitment by member states’ citizens, who are at the same time EU citizens. The main cleavages within the EU are then analysed, which can be traced to different goals, interest and expectations of member states: the cleavage between those who view the union just as a single market and those who conceive it also as a supranational politiical project; and the cleavage between Northern creditor countries who hold fiscal austerity as a policy priority and Southern indebted countries who are mostly concerned with economic stagnation and unemployment. And it is argued that these cleavages have deepened because of three interconnected challenges: the economicfinancial crisis and its social implications (growth of inequalities, unemployment and underemployment), the migration pressure, and the threat of fundamentalist terrorism. The essay then analyses the upsurge of national-populism and euroscepticism and traces these phenomena to the democratic deficit of EU institutions and the inadequate development of a common European identity. Finally, the alternative strategies for the EU renewal, ougtlined in the Commission’ s White Paper are discussed, arguing that the one oriented toward a federal union to be achieved through the method of reinforced cooperation is to be preferred.

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