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Ending the honeymoon: constructing Europe beyond the market

Hartmann, Moritz and de Witte, Floris ORCID: 0000-0001-8068-7110 (2013) Ending the honeymoon: constructing Europe beyond the market. German Law Journal, 14 (5). pp. 449-452. ISSN 2071-8322

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A. Introduction In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus becomes a prisoner of inevitability, existentially condemned to roll a boulder up a hill for the sake of seeing it roll back down immediately. His sense of desperation and futility is reminiscent of Europe today. It has become a prisoner of the circularity of stabilizing inherently unstable markets. And each cycle exacerbates the dominance of the economic over the political, the erosion of democratic paradigms, the indifference of citizens, and the divorce between social reality and its political translation. Political discourse is suspended while “technocrats” redistribute societal resources and aspirations in the name of economic necessity. And we, the Europeans, are sidelined and numbed by the repetitive talk of austerity and economic stability, EFSF and ESM, financial leverage and institutional reforms. All presented as inevitable for the health of the market, as a bitter medicine required to cease the pain. Needless to say, it will not; the pain is systemic. For the younger generation of Europeans, the “inevitable” changes instituted in the past years will define our future. That is why it is time to take a stand. Our lives cannot be shaped as a by-product of economic stability. The European Union is more than a market. Its citizens are more than consumers. Our political choices should make the market socially acceptable; the market should not make our political choices economically acceptable. Our generation has ideas, ideals, hopes, needs, and aspirations. And we strongly believe in Europe, just not in this particular economic manifestation of it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 German Law Journal
Divisions: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JX International law
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2013 16:07
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2021 23:14

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