Italian choice behind the European Union


You can say a lot about the European Union and the euro, but certainly since the debt crisis and the divergence between the national electorate and Brussels dictates, it is a great conversation theme. That used to be different. At that time no one found anything of the EU and was working quietly on an ever-closer union.

Of course that went with fits and starts (‘passage moments’ as Luuk van Middellaar calls it), but it left most voters cold. In Italy it is good to see that voters also have an opinion. Italian voters have democratically helped a government to wipe its butt with budgetary discipline and with it the European Union. Panic everywhere. But what are you doing? The EU is not averse to calling on democratic governments (Berlusconi, Papandreou), but that seems the fastest way to a popular uprising now. Nevertheless, Italy will have to choose, as The Economist explains on the basis of a theory from Harvard scholar Dani Rodrik: ‘In a globalized world … a country can have economic integration, the nation-state or democratic politics, but not all three fully. It can choose integration and the nation-state but give up democratic control to technocratic, supranational institutions.

It can choose integration and democracy, but give up the nation-state and disappear into supranational government. Or it can choose the nation-state and democracy by embracing impoverished autocracy. ‘ That of that ‘impoverished autocracy’ seems a bit exaggerated, but for the rest this trilemma is urgent to us. What does Italy ultimately choose? Let us also talk about it, because in the end we have to give up one of three: whether the nation-state, or democracy, or economic integration. Oh and now that we are talking about it: a similar problem exists for a monetary union. Grab a beer with it.

By: Leah Kunze

Leah Kunze just graduated MBA and is proud of it. She is interested in automotive industry and innovations. She well be glad to receive a mail to

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