The European Union (EU) is still mired in a crisis of confidence and legitimacy of unprecedented proportions that threatens to block or even reverse the European integration process and could eventually result in the breakup of the eurozone. However, a few recent developments have been interpreted as indicating that the crisis has passed its peak and that, after all, the EU—and the eurozone itself—are more robust and resilient than usually assumed. This emerging perception could induce a dangerously complacent attitude that the EU leaders can, in fact, ill afford given the destabilizing structural factors that continue to be at play. What is needed, therefore, is a sober assessment of the persistent challenges and risks that the EU is facing and the possible ways and means it can adopt to sort out of the present crisis and resume a sustainable integration path.
Paper presented at the Council of Councils Sixth Annual Conference, Washington, 7-9 May 2017.