On the latest issue of IMF’s Finance and Development magazine, economist Reza Moghadam argues that the current crisis is an opportune time to look back and reconsider Europe’s road to integration. In doing so, he lists and analyses several positive features of this process of integration, stressing their value regardless of all flaws that are being emphasized by different short-sighted political sides.
First of all, the European Union represents the achievement of a closely integrated region in which one can find some of the highest standards of living in the world. Furthermore, this has been accomplished after two devastating world wars and the division of the continent between two opposing blocs for much of the last century.
Secondly, the benefits derived from the removal of barriers to the free movement of people and commodities is still a powerful catalyst for fundamental reforms by many entrants and aspirants. This soft power cannot be much undermined; in the foreseeable future, we are likely to acknowledge much of the continent – up to the borders of Russia – as part of the EU area.
The main point of the article is that, all things considered, the big threats to the stability and prosperity – which are embodied in the current economic crisis – as much as the big differences between some groups of member countries vis a vis others, cannot interrupt the path towards closer ties. Integration has yielded substantial advantages for Europe. A greater integration still represents the best option available and a dream worth fighting for.