The Future of Europe: Towards a Two-speed EU?

The Future of Europe: Towards a Two-speed EU?

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By (author) Jean-Claude Piris

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 175 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 214mm x 10mm | 259g
  • Publication date: 20 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 1107662567
  • ISBN 13: 9781107662568
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 6 b/w illus.
  • Sales rank: 273,794

Product description

The European Union is in crisis. Public unease with the project, Euro problems and dysfunctional institutions give rise to the real danger that the European Union will become increasing irrelevant just as its member states face more and more challenges of a globalised world. Jean-Claude Piris, a leading figure in the conception and drafting of the EU's legal structures, tackles the issues head on with a sense of urgency and with candour. The book works through the options available in light of the economic and political climate, assessing their effectiveness. By so doing, the author reaches the (for some) radical conclusion that the solution is to permit 'two-speed' development: allowing an inner core to move towards closer economic and political union, which will protect the Union as a whole. Compelling, critical and current, this book is essential reading for all those interested in the future of Europe.

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Author information

Jean-Claude Piris served as the Legal Counsel of the Council of the EU and Director General of its Legal Service from 1988 to 2010. He is an Honorary French Conseiller d'Etat, a former diplomat at the UN and the former Director of Legal Affairs of the OCED. He was the Legal Advisor of the successive intergovernmental conferences which negotiated and adopted the treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice, the Constitutional Treaty and, finally, the Lisbon Treaty. He was also Senior Emile Noel Fellow and Straus Institute Fellow at New York University.

Review quote

'[The reader] will learn much along the way, gaining legal and historical perspective on different forms of co-operation between member states outside, inside and alongside the EU's own treaties ... [Piris] is a great teacher. As the best professors do, he challenges and provokes and gets us arguing.' European Voice 'Piris knows the issues from the inside. He deserves a serious hearing for his argument that the EU's institutions require a radical redesign.' Tony Barber, Financial Times '[A] remarkable contribution to the current debate on Europe's future ... anyone seriously concerned about the future of the Union should read the compelling description and analysis this book puts forward.' Europe's World '[Piris's] argument is challenging, stimulating and controversial.' The Institute of International and European Affairs blog 'Thought provoking and compelling.' LSE Review of Books 'For a very long time, as director-general of the legal service at the Council of the Union's general secretariat, Jean-Claude Piris participated as a legal advisor in all inter-governmental conferences that have changed the profile of the European Union since the conference that gave birth to the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. It is therefore an institutional expert who, in this high tempo opuscule, attempts to identify the ways of redemption for a European Union that is decidedly off-colour.' European Library 'We are indebted to Jean-Claude Piris for posing hard and important questions about the current European Union. His analysis has enriched our understanding of what a two-speed European Union means, how it might be attained and its distinctiveness from the multi-speed reality of the current European Union. He has energised debate and this review should be seen as part of the discourse.' Paul Craig, European Law Review

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. The continuing need for a strong EU in the foreseeable future; 2. An assessment of the present situation of the EU; 3. First option: substantially revising the EU treaties; 4. Second option: continuing on the present path while developing further closer cooperation; 5. Third option: politically progressing towards a two-speed Europe; 6. Fourth option: legally building a two-speed Europe; Conclusion.