In the first thrity years of its existence, the EU achieved most of its aims, especially that of securing peace in Western Europe through economic integration. In its second thirty years, the EU went for enlargement and deepening. This has led to stagnation and semi-paralysis. The new structures of unity and control that were created have proven unable to cope with political, economic and demographic turmoil. Now, millions of people in the EU feel completely disconnected with – or hostile to – the European project. Their expectations of ever increasing security and wellbeing were undermined by austerity and by policies that fail to respond to their life priorities. Meanwhile, economic and social divergences within the Union have grown. The Rome declaration should recognize this reality, not simply recast the rhetoric that made sense in the first half of the Union’s existence to Europe’s present and future challenges. Internally, the European project has become a transfer union that follows the pulls and pushes of neoliberal guidelines. A new, huge political effort of consolidation must first be undertaken to correct the existing regional and national imbalances. Only then would the EU be able to regain the momentum of its first thirty years.

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