Identity, policy and the future of the EU


CEPR and CEPS hosted a joint discussion forum on April 3rd at CEPS to launch a new CEPR eBook entitled Quo Vadis? Identity, policy and the future of the European Union. The three panellists –Thorsten Beck (Cass Business School), Dennis Novy (Warwick University) and Geoffrey Underhill (University of Amsterdam), who were also contributors to the eBook – agreed that the EU project is undergoing a profound crisis that is putting the very idea of the EU under fire. Large swathes of European society are experiencing deep feelings of alienation and transferring their support away from centrist parties to populist movements on the far left and the right. The Brexit vote is only one of many disruptors. A deeper identity crisis is one of the most profound diseases affecting the Union. There was a clear consensus among the participants at the forum that bold moves are needed to get the EU project back on track, including a radical rethinking of the EU’s governance structure, with some policy areas requiring more centralisation and others less. More in general, given the absence of a European identity, it was argued that the reform effort must start at the national level and that national policy-makers should assume greater responsibility for the decisions they take in relation to Europe. 

The eBook is available for free downloading on the VoxEU website (