- 10:00 am on Friday, September 13, 2013
- 11:30 am on Friday, September 13, 2013
- Main Library, 25 Boston Road, Chelmsford, MA
Will the European Union disintegrate? Will the Eurozone fail? Vivien Schmidt, Professor at Boston University and Director of the Center for the Study of Europe, feels that neither will be the case. But the EU and its member states do have to make serious changes to the current construct, which, according to Schmidt, allowed a rather minor crisis to escalate and expand from one country to an entire region. The basic economic structure of the EU is sound, she argues. In fact, the Eurozone's economic fundamentals are mostly better than in the UK and the USA. The main problems involve the hesitant leadership in the European Union, the region's complex set of institutions that do not allow for the swift decisive decision-making that is needed in times of crises, and the policies of austerity that have been the main cause of both the slowing economic growth across Europe along with the increasing political volatility. What’s the way forward? Amongst other things, Prof. Schmidt stresses the need not just to focus on "structural reforms" of labor markets and the welfare state but to switch to policies that produce growth through social as well as economic investment. She also suggests that deeper political union cannot succeed without great social as well as economic "solidarity."