Post-Crisis Models of European Integration

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2014-11-21-26

N. Arbatova, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAN), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The article analyses post-crisis methods and models of European integration that are at the center of political debate in the EU leading member-states. The current debate about the future of European integration is often portrayed as a choice between the federalist and intergovernmental approaches. The reality is far more complex, since European integration at its late stage is a combination of all integration methods. Nowadays it is more expedient to speak about flexible integration, or "variable geometry" that constitutes the most realistic approach to the post-crisis EU. The euro crisis led to a massive transfer of power to the EU level, and made political union a genuine possibility. However, although pro-Europeans now agree that political union is necessary to save the euro, they often have in mind very different things. Three models – asymmetric integration, full-fledged federation and two-speed Europe – are being discussed by the EU analysts and policy-makers. Whatever the future model, it is clear that it will require finding a balance between the greater flexibility and the rules that would allow EU to claim legitimacy for its actions.

Keywords: European integration, neofunctionalism, intergovernmental approach, federalism, asymmetric integration, political and economic federation, two-speed Europe

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For citation:
Arbatova N. Post-Crisis Models of European Integration. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2014, no. 11, pp. 21-26.

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