Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Many Roads Lead to Rome – the State of European Integration
Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 138 (2018), Iss. 2 : pp. 143–156
The ongoing crisis in the euro zone raises the question of whether the previously chosen path of European integration is likely to spur internal and external competitiveness and capability of action. In economic terms, it is about a strategy that does justice to the uniqueness of the landscape of European markets. Its special feature is that Europe – in contrast to North America – has developed diverse economic cultures historically whose qualities match the requirements of distinct markets and whose set of institutions are functional. An adequate European economic policy has to acknowledge these cultures and develop strategies to improve their individual effectiveness, i.e. comparative institutional advantage. This productive governance (Ordnungspolitik of the visible hand) is in stark contrast to a policy of harmonization that emanates from the idea of uniform market conditions. The attempt to integrate Europe on the basis of a “multi-speed” model has failed. The essential task now is to take into account the diversity of economic cultures in Europe and to unite the continent along a variety of paths. What the EU needs are rules and strategies that create unity in diversity, realizing its official motto: united in diversity. What Europe needs is an integration strategy on several paths – not only at several speeds.