N. Arbatova, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAN), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (Arbatova@imemo.ru).
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.
European integration, neofunctionalism, intergovernmental approach, federalism, asymmetric integration, political and economic federation, two-speed Europe
Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX