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Reforming the European UnionRealizing the Impossible$
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Daniel Finke, Thomas König, Sven-Oliver Proksch, and George Tsebelis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153926

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153926.001.0001

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(p.188) Conclusion
Reforming the European Union

Daniel Finke

Thomas König

Sven-Oliver Proksch

George Tsebelis

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes key themes and considers the implications of the Treaty of Lisbon both generally and specifically against the background of Europe's future policy agenda. It argues that under the rules of the Treaty of Lisbon, Europe is better prepared than it would be under the Treaty of Nice. The Lisbon reforms are likely to help political leaders overcome their internal conflicts more efficiently and agree on more effective policies. Yet the world does not wait on Europe getting its act together. Europe has to cope with the social tensions emerging from demographic change and its high public debt and fiscal crisis. The question about its borders has not been answered, and other countries keep knocking on Europe's doors. In either of these contexts, major reforms will reappear on the agenda. Once a crucial coalition of political leaders supports further reforms, the present institutional rules will, sooner or later, be changed once again. While there is no single recipe for success, the events leading to the Treaty of Lisbon have shown that Europe can indeed achieve the seemingly impossible.

Keywords:   European Union, institutional reform, Treaty of Lisbon, EU, internal conflict, social tension, demographic change

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