Europe has been in “crisis mode” for almost a decade. The financial crisis, the sovereign debt crisis, the unemployment crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the refugee crisis, the Grexit crisis, the Brexit crisis – a constant stream of risks and threats to the EU’s stability and long-term prosperity.

Is this just how the world works now? Is it the “new normal” for European leaders to be dashing about madly, constantly scrambling to put out one fire as five more burst aflame nearby? Perhaps we should adjust our expectations accordingly?

There have, of course, been crises in the past. However, it feels like the “boom” has been taken out of the “boom and bust” cycle, with Europe struggling through long periods of anaemic disappointment, punctuated by the odd white-knuckle moment of flat-out crisis.

It’s possible that 24-hour news (and the rise of social media) have encouraged this sense of perma-crisis, accentuating the negative for the sake of attention. Overall quality of life is still very high in Europe compared to almost anywhere in the world, and it’s easy to look back at “pre-crisis” Europe with rose-tinted glasses. On the other hand, it could be that the EU is going through a “lost decade“, similar to the situation experienced in Japan after 1991.

We had a comment sent in from Susan, who said it feels like Europe has been embroiled in one existential crisis or another for almost ten years:

Image of a citizenThe 2007-2008 financial crisis started when I was just in school. Ever since then (for all my adult life, basically) it feels like Europe has been lurching from one crisis to another. What does a post-crisis Europe look like?

To get a response, we spoke to Dora Kostakopoulou, Professor of European Union Law, European Integration and Public Policy at the University of Warwick in England. How would she respond to Susan?

kostakopoulouIt is very, very difficult for the younger generation to see a bright future for Europe. Of course, there are many, many external situations that are responsible for this crisis. At the same time, we have to accept that there is a degree of responsibility on behalf of both national and European leaders to navigate Europe through this crisis, and also not to increase the pressure that people experience as a result of the shocks.

Concerning the various crises in Europe, party elites have been responsible for creating further crises and unnecessary turmoil by stimulating various political events which increase the pressures that we experience. For example, the EU membership referendum in the UK has more to do with internal politics within the Conservative party, and their own ideological positions with respect to Europe and national sovereignty than the UK’s actual membership.

So, a post-crisis Europe would be a Europe in which everybody has the opportunity to flourish, has the opportunity to travel, has the opportunity to experience new things in all Member States, feels at home everywhere in Europe, and is able to choose his or her own professional or personal home. This is the Europe that we experience as professionals, and this is the Europe we really love, precisely because of the options it generates for everybody.

What would a “post-crisis” Europe look like? Is Europe going through a “lost decade”, similar to the one Japan experienced after 1991? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the from below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Neill Cummings

111 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Toni Muñiz

    EU has been in crisis since it started. Which should hint at that it needs a severe overhaul or to be ended for the good of all scammed EU member states.

  2. avatar
    Claudio Bartoletti


  3. avatar
    Rozalija Baricevic

    The crisis didn’t start yesterday and won’t finish tomorrow. There is no “post-crisis Europe”. This crisis is permanent as long as Brussels give up of implementation of the actions that are unacceptable by Europeans.

    • avatar

      Name a few.

    • avatar

      Take your underminer plebs out.

  4. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    “post-crisis Europe” – united more than ever before with one army , police , currency , without church , without tax heavens and without lobbying .

    • avatar
      Paul X

      One Army – and who exactly will be in charge of this army?..the EU as an institution is two immature and incompetent to be entrusted with such a dangerous thing
      One Police – God help us if that ever happens, there are some pretty corrupt forces throughout Europe
      One currency – This really doesn’t need any comment, the success of the Euro speaks for itself
      Without Church – What unilaterally “disarming” our religion? Makes no odds, Islam will never go away
      Tax havens – A global problem, nothing the EU can do about them
      Lobbying – Lobbying is not the problem, corrupt politicians that act upon the pressure/blackmail/bribery of lobbyists is

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Vinko- Hi,

      you seem to have difficulties & cannot distinguish and finally say“good by” to your ancestor’s “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”?

      Remember, it WAS a union of fourteen (14) Soviet Socialist Republics and one (1) Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (Russia) = 15? Similar to the EU28 concept!

      Still suffering- or longing?

    • avatar

      Exactly. We have to start a Federation… of and with willing states…

    • avatar

      Yes that would be the thing. And the racist/nationalist undermining rubbish amongst us should be left out from everything but the trade.

    • avatar

      Dream on, good man, dream on.
      The currency caused at least of of the many crisis, splitting North and South Europe economical for decades to come.
      Independend economics think it will take up to another decade to restore the European economy for an reasonable grow again.
      And for that the current EU has to collapse, or largely reformed, for which Juncker and Merkel have no planns.
      I `am almost 60, and thank heaven for the fact. I `ve been able to convince my children to start a new life outside the EU.
      They are handling my bank savings there. Guess what? I receive an intrest rate above zero!!
      Something the Dutch savers can forget for years to come, thanks to the Euro!!

  5. avatar
    Paul X

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to addressing an EU crisis…….. there are those who cry the solution is “more Europe”……and then there are those who have a grip on reality and can admit they were wrong…unfortunately the latter are in very short supply in Brussels..

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Paul X:

      There is only one school of thought for EU leaders so this document tells us. These leaders, we are informed, have received awards for the implementation they have made to bring it about.

      What is happening here on European soil makes sense when you read this link. It was put up on here before, but, I feel it important enough to have another look. Then ask, could this be possible?

    • avatar

      There are those who cry: out with the rubbish from amongst us.

  6. avatar
    Yordan Vasilev

    It is normally for the free market to experience one financial crises in every ten-twelve years. The global economy is a spoil water – somewhere somebody loses money, somewhere somebody earns money. The world passes from one crises to another, because it goes to the end.

  7. avatar
    Rosy Forlenza

    it would look like the current bunch of useless and expensive idiots were put out to pasture and new blood took over and made creative, bold, pragmatic decisions.

  8. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    First we need to spread out a culture of citizenship, of transparency, of honesty, of cooperation. The rest will follow.

  9. avatar

    First we need to spread out a culture of citizenship, of transparency, of honesty, of cooperation. The rest will follow.

    • avatar

      Hi Nando In the article we wrote proposed a similar path to more prosperity.

    • avatar


  10. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Sorry, what an awkward question! Shouldn’t one rather rephrase- to be able to respond positive & be more invitational for “suggestions” (which the EU is not):

    “Besides aiming first and foremost for a 47 European State strong, but sovereign remaining trading block- which other fields lend themselves and advance the well being of all its citizens by combining & sharing capabilities, resources & knowledge through closer cooperation? ……or similar! Scrap the present concept!

  11. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    Europe, driven by the EU will always be ‘in crisis’.

  12. avatar

    There will be no “post-crisis” EU. The fact that ultimately, and in any condition, the average Joe is paying the price, it’s the main problem. People patience is about to run out. While none of the top bureaukrauts can’t be held accountable, because Bruxelles was “engineered” that way, so far just very few chosen ones out of the 28’s get most of the promised “prosperity”.

  13. avatar
    Danny Boy

    A post crisis Europe hey,i’m afraid at sixty two I doubt i’ll live long enough to see it,in fact I doubt my twenty three year old grandson will either.

  14. avatar
    Bruno Verlinden

    Wrong question. It should be “what would a post-crisis WORLD look like. Europe is not the only region that is in trouble. Africa is going nowhere, south amerika is in difficulties, china has housing crisis and growth has stopped.. There is only 1 remedy : huge reform of debt, taxes and banking to put an end to the ever increasing part of economic output that goes to the 1% rich that own all capital and get unearned income whereas society is ever more collapsing and reorganising. “Why we can not afford the rich”

  15. avatar
    Nikos Themelis

    Post crisis Europe will be in ruins. destroyed by the austerity obsessed elite,by the xenophobic right wing politics,by the destructive dominance of the north,especially Germany on the south,from the prioritisation of markets instead of citizens,for destroying democracy,for moral,economic,ethical,social failure.
    Post crisis Europe is a non-existent EU.

  16. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    The problem is the greed of the rich and the financial system, regulations or lack of them that enable their insatiable greed to hoard all the wealth and siphon money off the people in every conceivable way from work, to purchases, surveillance economies, war economy of meddling in wars they are not under direct attack from, subsidising energy plus more, to tax avoidance, to tax havens to TTIP, suing governments, privatsing attempts at all public services with the UK leading in its attempts to privatise the NHS, Schools and now prisons. And the working class is expected to pay for it all. I lived in the pre-crisis era as a child and everybody in the midlle class prospered around me, and those of the lower class around me held their head high and coped well enough [Though everybody deserves better and their basic necessities guaranteed].

  17. avatar
    Elie Awad

    Keep debating about money and economie while the EU demography is changing ,my answer is the post EU crisis is islamic EU and civil wars …

  18. avatar

    I wonder about some nationalist comments here. Are these people paid by someone? Do they think for themselves or are they just repeating simple phrases? Wake up, dreamers! Our complex societies need helpful solutions for all kinds of groups. In my view the best way is building stronger and more democratic European institutions, working together with national and local communities.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      One also wonders, since when have comments abut the principles of “Westphalian sovereignty” become absolute political in-correct or even “prohibited”?

      Belief in illusions is sweet & gullible, but usually fatal. Its followers are sorry victims of manipulation. Once hooked & addicted- then threatened to loose them- is complex & tough! Drug dealers & politicians around the world play similar games.

      Fitting quote: “Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think?”
      Wonder, on which side to find you?

    • avatar

      Indeed, I strongly believe people not taking the time to think for themselves, just repeat simply the empty cat phrases, they hear on the telly or hear on the radio.
      Listening time after time the European politicians telling A, watching them doing exactly doing the opposite.
      And wondering why the so called populist parties are growing each day

  19. avatar

    National sovereignity may have worked to some degree in less globalized cultures (all kinds of states of the past had international contracts and commitments by the way, complementory to ‘sovereignty’) – 21st century needs some more elaborated cooperation. That’s what I think. But I know, there is this narrative, that decisions on national levels would improve our lives because they are closer to the people. I am sceptic about that. Seems to be quite an illusion to me. National capitals have as much lobbyists as Bruxelles – minimum.

    Subsidiarity on the other hand sounds like a good concept to me. European sovereignty could e.g. ensure a more balanced way between blind market faith and protectionism (different from todays ‘anglosaxon’ economics).

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      “………..LESS globalized cultures…. “- meaning, each of the 28 members are labeled less globalized (or divergent?)- but the sum of all less- equals more (of what?)- in an EU unity state?

      Your theory goes: the more diverse cultures are forced together so better, automatically achieving a “higher order”, guaranteeing a peaceful and more democratic system? So far, all individual 28 EU members are represented at the UN and accepted by the General Assembly as “sovereign”- the EU only has observer status- is neither sovereign and constitutionally speaking incomplete!

      Let’s make a clear distinction and don’t get muddled with several issues! Globalization or furthering TRADE between all & all globally is & was never disputed, but ALWAYS supported and accepted.

      This found expression in the original agenda/treaty of the “ECSC”, the EC & the EEC- until the EC/EU bureaucrats masterminded an “EEC Brussels coup d’etat! They changed the name to EU and in ADDITION introduced a (too) complex social, monetary, banking, cultural, human rights & secular based super state! They bet & believe that with enough treaties, laws & regulations (ignorant) voters can be blindfolded, tamed, pacified and conquered – since conquest by force in Europe has become an absurdity anyways!

      Question: Would the US, China, India or Islamist republics etc seriously go to the UN and declare to willingly abolish & hand back their sovereignty, resign from the UN & other global institutions and instead embark on experimentation’s to form a new mix of one (1) social, monetary & cultural union- other than general cooperation & trade in their geographical areas? Waste time & resources to do what today’s “modern” European bureaucrats are experimenting with?

      While time is “money”- is building (sand) castles, treaties, paralyzing Europe, falling behind fair trade (“the redeemer”) instead to seriously reduce high unemployment (12%-10%)- especially under the youth & safeguard the living standard of the majority- became secondary & scaled down?

      Which social class are the winners or losers in the EU today? The unemployed, the international migrants, the “temporary” refugees, the workers, the youth, the middle class, the SME’s, the bankers, the financial wheeler & dealers, the bloated political class or the invisible owners & shareholders of big business?

      Why perpetuate “impossibilities”, increase & opt for a high risk low road scenario or even a total systems failure? Can’t one equally say that Eurocrats are Euro populists, similar as nationalists are called national populists. The former are condemning narrow minded nationalism the latter are enlarging borders to form the next multi nationalistic populist super state. Thereafter, the global populists aim for a “united” global unity state “earth”- or what next?

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Peter:

      Have a think about this. And try to do it outside the box. Why do you believe in Globalization? What does it mean to you? Where did you first learn of it? and who taught it to you? Who are the Globalists? What are their objectives? Why do you feel national sovereignty is suspect? Do you realise that without National Sovereignty you have no vote in the New World Order? Do you realise that right now you have no voting rights in the EU?

      If you think you do. then why do you think you do? Did you vote fore for mass migration? Did you vote to bomb Iraq? Did you vote to bomb Syria? Did you vote for the overthrow of Ukraine by the US/EU contingent who ran and are running the show? Did you vote for the massacre of millions in the project that NATO has taken on?

      And what do you mean by ‘anglo saxon’ economics? If you don’t like anglo saxon economics, whose rac ial economics would you adhere to and support? You must have an alternative to what you condemn otherwise you would not raise it in the first place.

      All I am suggesting is, you think about what it is you believe in, and how you came to those conclusions. Was it at school or college? Was it from you background? And then ask this, what was in it for those who indoctrinated you with the ideas in the first place. Whose mantra are they or was they following?

    • avatar

      Catherine, OK, fine, let’s go this through, I just have some free time: (1) I do not believe in globalization. (2) Globalizations means to me international division of labour. I don’t give it a good or bad label as it has both. (3+4) pooh, probably I heard about globalization first time from some childs TV or in primary school? Do you remember things like that? (5) ‘Globalists’ are many companies, NGOs, intergovernmental instutions (rather not the EU, because it is something state-like) (6) ‘they’ have many diverging interests (7) I feel national souvereignty is reasonable but can e.g. be complemented by (sub-)continental souvereignty as in Indian, US, Brazil or Russian federations, which are also more or less multi-nation states. (8) What is the ‘New World Order’ for you? I vote representatives in the city I am living in, the federal state I am living in, the national state I am living in and the EU I am living in. The city has its souvereignty, the federal state has its souvereignty, the national state has its souvereignty and, as you will expect, the EU has its souvereignty. (9) I have the right to vote on a party list for the European Parliament and I regularly made use of it. (10) I do have a right to vote for the EP because I am regularly registered in the voting list, go to the ballot and have my X ;-) But I understand what you mean. The EP is still a toothless tiger with rather few influence on EU policies. That’s right. Let’s fight to change that. (11) In very few cases there is direct democracy, mostly we have ‘representative democracy’ which means that I vote for a party programme or person which is the best compromise for my views. While probably no party promotes ‘mass migration’, most do promote some immigration for the labour market or family unification or asylum or additional reasons. I regularly vote for such a party. (12) No. And I am glad that German government did not contribute to Iraq bombing (with the exception of some secret service action and permissions for the US bases). (13) No. Sadly the German army takes part in Syria interference just as it did in former Yugoslavia, even if it’s only a handful of surveillance planes. (14) I support the ‘overthrow’ in Kiev, although it’s follow-ups in Donbass and Crimea are a very sad developments. (15) Could you specify the ‘massacre of millions’ by NATO? I share your point that military interferences often had very serious consequences, even if there were ‘noble’ intentions. But I am e.g. quite glad, that many allied soldiers ended Nazi fascism. Imagine how the world would look like if the allies would have accepted Nazi German ‘souvereignty’. (16) Anglo-saxon economics is a label for rather unregulated markets with only small welfare budgets, typical for English-speaking countries (, contrasting welfare capitalism with larger state budgets in many European states. (17) I prefere the Scandinavian model of economics with high taxes but also high level of social security. That is not at all a racial model. (18) I am known for having my own thoughts among friends and family ;-) That’s not at all indoctrination but reasonable thoughts based on facts, discussions and life experience. Convinced?

  20. avatar

    That’s not what I said. I said that today there are much more international contacts and relations than in the past centuries. It is comparable to the formation of nation states formed in 19th century or before. They formed some degree of inner integrity to have a stronger voice. (Actually, some revolutions were necessary to finally introduce democracy. In some countries they were violent. Let’s not hope for that!)
    You cite perceived negative examples of the EU institutions which underline your opinion. EU is not allmighty and certainly not responsible for everything you cite. Is it not the banks that fear EU regulations? In my opinion this is very much in the center of the whole ‘Brexit’ referendum. Farage and Co seem to speak for ‘the people’, but think who will benefit from unregulated markets. Financial institutions want to keep on exploiting the economy, meaning the people …

  21. avatar
    Andrej Němec

    Europe has to go back on track and assume a global role that used to have. To do this it needs to integrate Russia, a bridge with the Asian continent. It has to push for a renewed NATO – Russia partnership and sign a trade agreement with the Euro – Asian Union. It needs to reshape the partnership with the US as an equal peer and not as a US vassal. As for economic growth, there are different possible recipes but they all pass through a deep labour reform that goes in the direction of increasing the labour participation of the active population. Natality must go back to a positive trend and not thanks to immigrants from Africa and Middle East but to an increased level of natality among White Caucasian autochthonous Europeans. It’s not racism, it’s self – preservation. Europe should also rethink the relationship with former European colonies and protectorates. European factories should give jobs to locals and to Europeans ready to relocate in more sunny places for a higher salary and a better career. The post – colonialism has been a failure so it’s probably time to change the approach towards the Middle East. Only through a less conservative and braver global approach Europe can regain and even assume a bigger global role.

    Let’s make Europe great again!

  22. avatar
    Noia Blackcat

    keeping on going on this path EU has chosen I can’t really give an overview on how it will be once (and if) the crisis ends also because we are in a state of crisis on different points: economy, refugee and clandestine problem, occupation, taxation, beurocracy and I could go on…

  23. avatar
    George Yiannitsiotis

    Post-crisis Europe would have nothing to do with the EU:
    1. The tensions between a German-led alliance of the center and the periphery will lead to the break-up of the EU in multiple fragments
    2. Tensions between Germany on the one hand and the USA and Russia on the other may redraw the spheres of influence, starting from the M.East and the Mediterranean belt
    3. The only think that may survive this armagedon, be the free trade area but not the borderless Schenghen or the euro-mark.
    4. Let’s hope that the USA and Russia come to an agreement that would stabilize Europe after Germany’s destabilizing acts against the status quo ante and its effort for economic dominance via the euro-mark

  24. avatar

    I agree that both, austerity and migrant policies, prominently supported by Merkel/Schaeuble/de Maizière, produce a huge damage to the European idea. While the ideas behind a balanced state budget and a shared immigration policy are reasonable, the way of enforcing them is eroding the whole European framework. That is not only against European interests as a whole, but even against German interests themselves. Since former chancellor Adenauer, it was common in German national politics to respect the political cultures of the other EEC/EC/EU member states, just as it is still practised in relation to the other financial netto contributors to the EU budget (see e.g. France, Britain or Italy). I hope that Germans have eventually realized this and will not reelect Merkels party in next year’s general election. At the moment, opinion polls give them hardly one third of the electorate. The sad thing is that the social democrats are also part of the actual government and are therefore equally blamed for conservatives’ politics, while the small opposition is quite fragmented…

  25. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    ECB has many cartridges to spend is time to stimulate the economies of the Euro zone

  26. avatar

    But Vote Leave is hitting back with five guarantees of what it claims “In” looks like.

    “If people vote to stay, they are voting for the free movement of people from Europe to the UK, permanently,” says chief executive Matthew Elliott.

    “This will get worse when Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey join the EU. British business will continue to be strangled by EU regulation and we will continue to send £50m each week to Brussels.

    “If we Vote Leave on 23 June, we take back control of our money, our borders and our democracy. That’s the safer option for our future.”

    • avatar

      What a fear and smear campaign, sorry to say.

      In Germany there were the same fears concerning people after the opening of the labour market for central and Balkan Europeans. In fact, German economy, state budget and social securities profitted from the additional contributors in the years since. Probably it has been not so different in the UK.

      Business ‘strangulation’ may sometimes have its reasons, but could equally be fought against inside the EU. Maybe EU regulations will even stay valid if the UK would negotiate some EU free trade agreement after a Brexit (look at Switzerland or Norway). But I am sure, British employers associations will find fellow lobbyists in all other member states anyhow…
      £50m each week to mainly invest in Eastern and Southern European infrastucture and development sounds a lot for a single person, but rather bearable for millions of taxpayers as investment into a stable neighborhood if compared to the huge military budget, does it not? Citing this large amount of money is used to make the some people think that only glass palaces in Brussels are financed by British tax money. So misleading…

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      ….”fear and smear”………& who is the unbiased & qualified judge of that all?

    • avatar

      ‘Proactive’, it is just my impression or opinion if you like, based on the misuse of peoples’ fears of alienation while more than half of the immigrants have nothing to do with the EU. Western Balkan countries won’t enter EU before the 20ies and are sparsely inhabited (combined less inhabitants than Romania alone) and Turkey will maybe never enter the EU if you look at French, German, Austrian, Cyprus’ and probably others policies. So it looks like quite a misleading fear argument.

  27. avatar

    Without the EU involved for definite .
    The euro has been a disaster for Greece ,free movement of people from the east a disaster for the communities in the west , the UK in particular . Open borders and mass immigrations have seen civil unrest across the continent and the scenes in the cities of Europe where homeless migrant camps are common a disgrace to the policies of Brussels .
    It may be too late , the EU in 33 short years has ruined the development of the societies of western Europe that have evolved ,sometimes at great cost ,over hundreds of years .
    The crisis as you put it is here to stay .

  28. avatar

    Apologies in advance for dumbing down the tone here, but hey -I’ve got a keyboard etc.
    I’m thinking of leaving my current broadband provider, we’ve been together a long time. When I signed up it all seemed so simple and innocent. Over time I came to realise that I didn’t like the deal they were offering me. When I complained nobody seemed interested.
    The change will involve a bit of hassle but in the long run it will be worth it.

    Leaving the E.U. will cause some disruption, but that’s not a good enough reason to stay in an organisation that seems to think that “herding cats” could work on a continental scale.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      EXCELLENT analogy!

  29. avatar

    We all now what we need on the European level: liable politicians that can be unelected for bad politics. The problem is that many national politicians will fight this in fear of loosing influence. So the people need to find a way of introducing democracy against unwilling national politicians. The big question is how.

  30. avatar
    Philip Morgan

    Hi. Same as it did before but with more people in it, which taking into account the ratio of refugees compared to native citizens and the size of the EU, is not that big a deal. A difference might be noticeable in a resurgence of Christianity in the West and at the very least religion back in prominent placing over atheistic secularism. Great from whatever perspective! Thanks.

  31. avatar
    Joseph Stack

    The EU is a continuous crisis, therefore, we won’t ever find out what a post-crisis EU looks like.

  32. avatar
    Joseph Stack

    The EU is a continuous crisis, therefore, we won’t ever find out what a post-crisis EU looks like.

  33. avatar
    Justin Wilinson

    If you think the EU has been continuously in crisis, then how would you describe the hundreds of years before the formation of the EU? Bloody war, perhaps? I would dispute that it has continuously been in crisis. Most of this current crisis was caused by the banking collapse, not the EU’s fault and Blair and Bush feeling they had to invade the middle East. You’ve got short memories folks. Re-read your history books.

  34. avatar
    Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    Well, the first question here should be what “crisis” means in the given context. Are we looking at the overall EU or at individual members who are somehow in disarray and whose problems might spill over to the European level because of various forms of integration and interdependence? The second question regards the dimension of “crisis”: economic, social, political?

    To come back to the article’s question: I think that a post-crisis Europe will be politically consolidated, economically anemic, and characterized by problematic levels of social inequality, with substantial differences between countries. The political consolidation will come about because in a core of countries – Germany, Benelux, France, Spain, Italy – large majorities (>60%) of citizens feel either exclusively as Europeans or share a European identity with a national one and there is still scope for political consolidation. As a result, I would expect the economic, security and foreign policies of these countries to become further integrated, while certain other policies – e.g. penal and customary laws – may further diverge. The United Kingdom will probably leave the European Union and might be harshly punished in order to deter further exits.
    Economically, the European Union’s per capita real GDP has been steadily increasing since 2013 – with large differences between countries. Unfortunately, the Global Financial Crisis and the Eurozone crisis have contributed to the growth of income and wealth inequality in the EU, the reduction of which will probably become one of the main socioeconomic challenges of the world in the first half of the 21st century. I also hope that some sort of solidarity fund will be developed between countries with similar economies (e.g. Germany and Austria or France and Belgium) to smooth out regional differences. Labor mobility will probably permanently increase as a result of the Eurozone crisis, which has caused a fair amount of labor migration and has increased local diasporas, e.g. of Spaniards or Greeks in Germany and the Netherlands.
    Socially, the main question is to what extent economic inequality will spill over into social inequality, e.g. due to exacerbated differences in living standards or social opportunities. The rights of women and LGBT will slowly increase, also with large differences between countries. The rights of religious minorities and foreigners, especially Muslims, might be curtailed, given that Islamophobia and nationalism are important sociopolitical trends.

  35. avatar
    Francio Marco

    If national egoisms wins we are going to be poorer outside EU, if a different EU will come out from crisis, a political Europe with less differences between rich people and poor people, a better Europe will born. We are at the key moment, if people and politicians understand this, Europe will be stronger otherwise Europe will be destroyed.

  36. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    The EU and all goverments enable greed and hoarding of wealth by the mega-rich at the expense of the people. The EU and local governments therefore do not care about the people and enable increasing inhumane poverty. Abolish poverty, regulate corporations, tax the mega-rich and guarantee basic needs of all people are met with a guaranteed minimum income. Then we’ll see if the EU is still in a crisis.

  37. avatar
    Ray de Bono

    I believe and support a united Europe. I hope and pray that none our good motives and genuine frustrations are taken for granted. We need less talk and more concrete actions. Good night!

  38. avatar
    Guida Almeida

    I used to have a lot of faith in the EU. But all my effort in trying to keep it while being realistic(reading the news, and seeing things for what they are,vs what i wish they were) has only made me disappointed and skeptical. I don´t think i believe in reforms working anymore. The EU is far too entrenched in its vices to reform. And it takes advantage of this faith to whitewash the shit they do while feeling entitled in telling other nations what to do. The epitome of arrogance. Maybe the EU needs to go to hell so something honest and humanely valuable can be birthed. I´m slowly coming to terms with that, because i never thought i would live to see the stuff we´re seeing, i never thought i´d (have to) be against it.

  39. avatar
    Gajdos Gyorgy

    We would finally need a common border agency, with commonly financed staff, common, albeit small army (because only that is realistic), some common economic rules (incorporating a limited liability company should be the same everywhere), all official communications of national governments should be done in English too. In schools there should be mandatory 5 hour per week language teaching of a European language. EU politicians should have mandatory 2 European languages fluent. Political sciences should be taught in school just like mathematics, because if live in a complicate society we should be able to understand it.

  40. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    Ahahahahah what we learned from this article:
    1st We learned that EU is still in deep crisis, no matter what the politicians talk for overcoming it.
    2nd AND MORE IMPORTANT – The politicians admit they are completely incapable to solve the crisis and instead finding someone that can we should “adjust our expectations”
    That’s nice :) Go on! Give us some more propaganda! Sow your stupidity :)

    • avatar
      Jean-Pierre Rosa

      Feel free to field your proposals. Lets see how much smarter you are 😊

  41. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    The EU has a migrant crisis, an unemployment crisis, a currency crisis, a banking crisis, an agricultural crisis & a democratic deficit crisis so what makes you think there will be a post crisis ?, the EU ‘IS’ the crisis !

  42. avatar
    Ainhoa Lizar

    … Obviously the answer is open borders for Europe and islam is a religion of peace… This will solve everything…

  43. avatar
    tired of UE crap

    I address this question to Mr.Schäuble the wise fellow…… and tell him that his political observations about Portugal politics, concerns to Portuguese citizens.

  44. avatar
    Manuel Alegria

    and will stay, as long as weak political mp’s are in the hands of IMF; ECB; W.Street, G.Sachs and other criminals

  45. avatar
    Marco Musazzi

    Europe has all it takes to overcome the crisis. There is a lot of wealth, like nowhere to be found in the whole world, to tackle all the challenges we are facing. Problem is finding a credible political leadership. European leaders in the last two decades have been dwarfs internationally. In the 21st century you cannot solve national problems if you do not look internationally; we are too interconnected

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      The other 169 Nation who ‘not in the EU’ seem to manage a lot better without the Brussels dictatorship.

  46. avatar
    Antonino Gargiulo

    “Post-Crisis Europe” or “Which changes are needed to make this Europe overcome its crisis?”

    I am convinced that we need to share the same Laws, the same Police and (of course) one Language. We can have a local language which can flank the Main and Common Language to keep the local Identity alive, but we need a Common Language just to survive as a Community.

    The level of corruption in my Country, Italy, is too high.
    Why other European Fellow Citizen should trust me or my Country given this level of corruption?
    People can not make businesses, entrepreneurs have hard time doing their Job. To overcome these problems:
    We need a Federal and a Local Police.
    We need one Federal Law.
    We need a Common Language which helps us to understand each other. Period.

    It’s hard to achieve, right? A good reason to start now.

    Understanding each other is quite an issue.
    Don’t forget that part of us are Christian Catholic and part are Christian Protestants, this leads to the old argument on “Personal Responsibility”. A trap which is waiting for us, an argument which we have to solve definitely.

    This just to start.

  47. avatar
    Paul X

    There will never be a Post Crisis EU because if the day ever arrives when there is no European drama then the EU will create some to justify it’s existence
    The EU is not a passive organisation, even if the world was turning perfectly fine it would still be poking around in every nook and cranny trying to find problems that do not exist

  48. avatar

    Common external border, common army, a European language thaught at school 5 hours a week from day one, common set of low for small businesses, much more consequential guarding of the European principles (shifty-cheating-undemocratic countries should have their financing and investments cut whithout hesitation).

  49. avatar
    jane tse

    There are still more crises to come! The trade war, the Iran Nuclear Deal…we are not yet in “post crisis”. If we are prepared for all sorts of crises, we would not be panic and helpless when crises come.

  50. avatar

    Ever since 2008. Crap. I can only remember as far back as around 2009. My life has been a crisis

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Changing the Politics of Fear View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.