Micossi, Stefano, and Gros, Daniel. (2006) Confronting Crisis in the European Union: A Fresh Start. CEPS Policy Brief, No. 117, 12 December 2006. [Policy Paper]
[From the Introduction]. The European Union is suffering a deep crisis: disdain, disillusionment and distrust top the list of prevailing sentiments towards the European institutions, as was brought home dramatically by the failed referenda on the Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands. The diagnosis of the problem, however, and its attendant cure are far from clear. Is declining popularity a transitory effect of persistent slow growth and unemployment or, more fundamentally, of mounting social strains blamed on globalisation and immigration? Is it the frustration from the apparent inability of the European Council to reach agreement on vital decisions affecting the security and well-being of its citizens? Is it the distance and complexity of common institutions, turning out an endless flow of cumbersome rules, seemingly undisturbed by objections raised from all quarters? And, finally, is it the perceived lack of democratic accountability of European institutions, the widespread perception that a creeping theft of sovereignty has expropriated citizens of their right to take fundamental decisions shaping their economic and social circumstances, changing their societies without consulting them?
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