The European Union’s dilemma
Towards a union or not?
in Destination Europe

In March 1999, the European Commission, the European Union (EU)'s executive branch, resigned under accusations of fraud, nepotism and mismanagement, leading to intensive soul-searching as to what could be the right form of management for the EU. How could the democratic aspects of the emerging entity be enhanced? How could democracy be improved? How should power be shared among the governments of the member states as represented in the Council of Ministers, the peoples of the Union as represented in the European Parliament and an appointed but political bureaucracy, the Commission? How open and transparent could the EU be, given the many sensitive issues it was now handling, such as foreign policy, security and defence? Rendering answers to these questions more urgent was the arrival, in January 1999, of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the single currency, the euro, among eleven (and soon twelve) EU states. The EU had clearly taken a major step towards economic and political integration, begging the question to what extent formal political unification would follow that in the monetary field.

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Destination Europe

The political and economic growth of a continent

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