From a European Union perspective, it’s somewhat surprising that the extraordinary financial crisis we’ve been living through has not generated more pressure for another big push at EU integration – if not in the political sphere, then at least in the economic one. According to conventional EU wisdom, it usually takes a crisis to make Europeans understand why closer integration is a good thing. But on this occasion, it’s not happening – or at least, not yet.
For the perfect explanation as to why this should be so, I recommend an article by Otmar Issing, the European Central Bank’s former chief economist, in the latest issue of the journal Europe’s World. Issing’s article discusses the merits of issuing common bonds for the 16-nation eurozone – an initiative that would, in theory, mark a major step forward in European integration – and comes down firmly against the proposal. Read more