A More Coherent Project
Legal Issues of Economic Integration
In the midst of manifold crises affecting Europe and the world that are often presented as ever so many final chapters for the European Union, the EU project continues. Refugees are amassing in detention centres and arriving at shores, whilst others are sent back under a deal with an accession country under an increasingly authoritarian president; the six-year Euro Area sovereign debt crisis showed signs of re-igniting on the performance of Greece in respect of its economic adjustment programme
... (the conditionality for financial assistance); the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine is far from over, its Association Agreement with the EU threatened by the votes of less than two-thirds of the 32% of voters turning out in a consultative referendum in a State representing 3.5% of the EU electorate; the terrorist threat by IS and other groups, and the States' countermeasures, are ever-present in daily life; and the Union faces secession with the upcoming Brexit/Bremain referendum, which is presented as possibly leading to its ultimate dissolution while other States may find the exit alluring, or may wish to copy the blackmail that could result in an even more special relationship for the UK. And, yet, the EU project continues. Taking examples from a random selection of five largely unconnected areas, we see continuity below the surface of media attention. In each of these areas, public consultations took place and, yet, the EU level of government is seen as ever more remote from the day-to-day life of its citizens and small-and medium-sized companies (SMEs). Therefore, more coherence for the project seems required. 1 More coherence may increase the success of diverse projects by linking them or the ideas used to tackle the issues, and may bridge differences between academic or national approaches. But, first a look at recent developments in the EU acquis. Concerning the single market, the centrepiece of the European integration project, efforts are underway to bring it closer to the citizens and to a higher degree of reality in daily life, with the Commission exploring its upgrade in a digital world. 2 The results of 'From the Board'.