EU Cohesion Monitor 2019: The untold story of European resilience
The dominant narrative about the European Union over recent years has been one of fragmentation. Indeed, there are visible signs of a union struggling to mobilise collective action – on eurozone reform and European security, for instance – and even crumbling, with one of its largest members, the United Kingdom, on its way out. And there are significant portions of electorates in almost all member states backing sovereigntist and anti-EU parties that challenge cooperation under the EU umbrella.
Yet there is another story to tell: the story of the breath-taking resilience of the EU even in light of the economic and political crises of the past decade. There is obviously a powerful glue that holds EU countries and societies together. This has prevented the union from falling apart at a time of great stress.
In 2015, ECFR set out to better understand what makes EU countries and societies stick together. We wanted to shed light on Europe’s state of cohesion, a theme that has been vital to the very idea of European integration right from its start in the 1950s. We thought that despite the centrality of cohesion to the future of the EU there had been little understanding of the building blocks of cohesion so far. The EU Cohesion Monitor developed to fill that gap is a data-based tool which allows users to better understand the variety of factors that contribute to cohesion – or lack thereof. Its third edition is published this week.