Uncertain times: The lack of reform in the European Union is fuelling concerns of an increasingly fractured Europe
Standing in Espace Léopold, home of the European Parliament’s Brussels seat, one might expect to feel at the epicentre of the region’s political power. However, “as you understand more and more how the European Union works, the more you realise that the EU institutions have very little power,” says José Pellicer, partner and head of research at Rockspring Property Investment Managers. “The member states have most of the power to decide what direction the EU should take,” he says.
The comment underscores concerns since the United Kingdom voted in June 2016 to leave the EU that some fellow member states could follow suit. With heightened awareness of the issues that led to the leave vote — immigration and border control, the freedom to negotiate new trade deals with countries globally and total autonomy over law-making — and with a growing right-wing political presence across Europe, is the EU doing enough to recognise any need for reform?