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"Africa should avoid copying Europe’s failing experiment" Business Day 30.07.2015

“Africa should avoid copying Europe’s failing experiment” Business Day 30.07.2015

"Africa should avoid copying Europe’s failing experiment" Business Day 30.07.2015GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti discusses the EU crisis from an African point of view: is the EU really the right model of regional integration?

“THE European Union (EU) is generally presented as the most advanced case of regional integration in the world. It has progressed from a system of sectoral co-operation in energy governance among six states in the early 1950s to a multifaceted body of 28 members, with unprecedented powers in areas such as economic and social development, monetary governance, legal affairs and foreign policy.

Its approach to integration has been driven by bureaucratic and economic elites, mostly through technical co-operation among key national departments. There is little doubt that such a top-down approach was a key strength during the takeoff phase of integration, as technocrats managed to forge co-operative mechanisms despite the volatility of politics and the fierce ideological battles of the time. Citizens’ involvement came late, with the first parliamentary elections only in 1979. Albeit marginally on the increase, genuine popular participation in Europe’s affairs has been deliberately kept at bay by its architects. Over time, this has resulted in the populace endorsing a rather utilitarian approach towards the EU: happy to be part of it for as long as the benefits largely outweighed the costs.

Since the late 1990s, however, things have changed dramatically. A continent traditionally marked by progressive social policies, functioning welfare states and high living standards has been turned into a very unequal one, with shrinking budgets to support healthcare and education, but vast resources to subsidise financial markets.” […]

Read the full article on Business Day, 30.07.2015

Regions and Crises: New Challenges for Contemporary Regionalisms

Regions and Crises

(Palgrave, 2012)

Author: L. Fioramonti

Will the European Union survive the global economic crisis? Will the Arab Spring trigger new forms of regional cooperation in North Africa? Will Asian regionalism prevail? This volume investigates the intimate relationship between regional governance processes and global crises. Starting with a thorough analysis of the so-called Eurocrisis and its impact on the European Union, the contributors look at how regional cooperation and integration in the Arab world, Africa, Asia and Latin America have been improved or challenged by local and global crises. Through a selection of topical studies dealing with economic, humanitarian and democratic crises, they discuss the future evolutions of regional governance and call for a new paradigm to put ‘citizens’ at the centre of regionalism.

For more info see: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=530636