The Eurozone is at a crossroads. Its neoliberal and ordoliberal construction proved to be unworkable and, after the crisis, made the macroeconomic adjustment slow and costly – causing financial and real divergence among the member countries. Kolodko’s writings offer interesting insights. This article considers Kolodko’s study of Poland and Greece and adds two other paradigmatic cases, those of Germany and Italy. Kolodko’s case studies and criticism of neoliberalism lead him to propose a New Pragmatism in policy making. This proposal offers important insights, but neglects two fundamental problems: moral hazard and institutional differences. These have to be included in the New Pragmatism to give this the strength and ability to contribute to solve the Eurozone problems.
The consultative referendum held on June 23, 2013, showed that a majority of British voters are in favour of leaving the EU. Markets reacted and adapted, and politics made the first steps towards a UK outside the EU and an EU without Britain. This paper looks at the expected effects of Brexit in different fields: political and social effects, consequences for production and trade, and financial and fiscal effects. It then presents the institutional process of leaving the EU, stressing its indeterminacy, and considers the first steps undertaken so far. It concludes that the EU negotiation position is weak because of its internal problems and calls for the priority given in reforming the EU.
Transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe and deep economic reforms in China and other emerging countries did not end the variety of economic systems. Various brands of comparative economics have shown this variety in both theory and different countries. An increasingly important form of this variety concerns the process of European integration. Systemic differences within the European Union are the source of difficulties and tensions, of a European conundrum that appears in different forms and ways and that make the sustainability and progress of integration difficult. This article looks at the logic of and proposals by the “New Comparative Economics” and the “Variety of Capitalisms” literature to find an explanation to the problems and difficulties that the European integration is meeting, going beyond the standard technical explanations based on European convergence criteria. It finds that both theories, although important and useful for contributing to solving the European conundrum, do not account sufficiently for the novelty and the complexity of European integration.
The paper proposes the construction of a multi-speed, multi-track and multi-level European Union framework as a way to increase the flexibility of the integration process and facilitate inter-country conflict resolution. The paper shows that this malleable framework is superior, even for sensitive macroeconomic spillover issues like monetary union and immigration.
Kornai profoundly contributed to place the system to the centre of economic analysis. His multidisciplinary system paradigm is fundamental for understanding and analysing the variety of economic solutions and its consequences. The strong scientific foundation of Kornai's approach provides a fruitful opportunity to further develop and apply it to the most fundamental economic issues, such as explaining the different performance and strength of different economies and societies. The inclusion of a multidisciplinary perspective has the significant advantage of keeping under control non-economic factors that influence economic activities and performance and allows to account for the real behaviour and evolution of economies and societies. It can also contribute to explain the resilience of economic and social systems and economies. The paper takes stock of the importance of Kornai's analysis and method and applies them to better understanding the nature and working of the European Union and its difficulties. Based on Kornai's approach, the paper considers how the European Union should evolve to make itself workable and resilient in front of a threatening international environment.