Caught in the grip of global geopolitics and grappling with the crisis of globalisation, the European Union finds itself needing to reinvent its role in the world, not only politically but also economically.
Since 1992, the year in which the Maastricht Treaty was signed, it seems like a century has passed. The European dream has been on a rollercoaster ride: after a period of great momentum toward integration, culminating in the adoption of the Euro, came the 2008 financial crisis and, especially, the 2011 debt crisis. Brexit, voted on in 2016 and executed in 2020, saw the second-largest economy in the Union leave the bloc.
In short, Europe’s momentum seems to have waned, and in academic and journalistic circles, critical analyses have proliferated, emphasising the limitations of the European Union rather than its prospects. Even the recent crises, such as COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which strengthened continental governance, do not appear to have altered this narrative.
In this article, I will attempt to conduct an economic analysis of the Union, with particular attention to the trends and structural limitations that are undermining its performance. This article does not claim to provide a definitive analysis of the economic prospects of the European Union, nor does it aim to critique the integration process politically. It is a partial analysis that focuses on the structural limitations of the Old Continent’s economy rather than its strengths. It goes without saying that Europe remains one of the geographical areas with the greatest resources and potential on the planet, but in this context, we find it useful to concentrate on the challenges to answer the question: Is Europe truly becoming poorer. .. to be continued