Publications

Differentiated Europe needs strong institutions

1 October 2014
Alexander Stubb (Prime Minister of Finland)


In his article on differentiated Europe, Alexander Stubb, stresses that differentiation is a tool for effectively enlarging and deepening the Union. He analyses the topic in terms of the three meta-challenges identified. Stagnation is seen as a catalyst for differentiation as differentiated Europe can be a solution to political and economic stagnation. The author argues that the difference between differentiation and a second meta-challenge, fragmentation, is a thin line that is best guarded by strong common institutions. In terms of input legitimacy, Alexander Stubb sees the strengthened role of the Commission as providing a fair degree of accountability, whereas working outside the EU Treaties poses a challenge to legitimacy. In terms of output legitimacy, differentiated Europe tends to perform well because it typically is a solution to policy problems where joint progress is not an option. The fact that treaty change is not an option for the time being will mean that differentiated Europe can be a useful instrument in deepening integration. However, he argues, we also need to recognise that there are no-go areas for differentiation, namely those areas where the essence of European value added lies and where effects are much stronger when the whole Union participates.

Differentiated Europe needs strong institutions