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Current Obstacles and Future Challenges of Integration in Europe

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Abstract

This book argues that the history of the EU advances in steps, starting from the founding EEC Treaty to the most recent developments, which include the Draft Accession Agreement (DAA) of the EU to the ECHR and UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement(s). Our belief is that, whist European integration proceeds through different stages and is a building block exercise, profound interconnectedness between Member States has been fostered. Yet, each country in Europe has experienced a fate of its own, which was triggered by internal political and economic crises and has fuelled Euroscepticism. The latter, rooted and framed by people’s national experiences, is an increasing sentiment. It is evident that the wave of Euroscepticism is spreading across the continent and no longer tied to small segments of society or extremist political parties. Hence, scholars argue that the EU project is exposed to greater public contestation, at time when Europe is challenged from North to South by economic and austerity measures and from East to West by migration and human rights concerns. We submit that particularly in this political and economic climate, the EU needs to rely on public support for its continued legitimacy more than ever before. This can be achieved by focusing the attention on values which are shared by individuals. Interestingly, the political climate that we are experiencing resembles the crisis of the European political order in the years between the two World Wars characterised by clashes of rival ideologies: Christianity and Islam, the social and the capitalist ideals and the emerging concept of European polity. The Second World War was a devastating event and the lessons that have been drawn are ‘that it is so difficult to appraise aggressive dictators, that democracies must maintain their unity and strength”.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK
  2. 2.Brunel Law SchoolBrunel University LondonUxbridgeUK

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