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Ruminations on the future of the EU

August 16th, 2022

A conservative commentator contends that it is wrong to depict the debate over the future of the EU as one between anti-nationalist integrationists and EU-sceptics. Portraying the dispute in such terms risks depending polarization, he argues.

In Mandiner, Illés László Katona cautions against what he calls a simplistic reduction of discussion about the future direction of the Union as a debate between federalists and EU-sceptics. He notes that there are divergent and even conflicting visions among those in favour of deeper EU integration. While France wants to speed up EU integration in order to strengthen EU sovereignty, Germany wants to make EU-US cooperation simpler by creating a more centralized EU, Illés contends. Parties often bracketed together as EU-skeptics also have very different visions and rationales, he continues. Some were hardcore EU-skeptics, including the pro-Brexit UKIP, while most groupings in the European Conservatives and Reformists EP group do not want to quit or dismantle the EU, but do oppose its further centralization. Simplifying the dispute over the future of the EU into one between putatively anti-national internationalists and alleged EU-sceptics, only deepens the polarization in the EU and makes reasonable debate impossible, Katona writes.