Structural Reforms for Growth and Cohesion
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Structural Reforms for Growth and Cohesion

Lessons and Challenges for CESEE Countries and a Modern Europe

Edited by Ewald Nowotny, Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald and Helene Schuberth

Effective and well-designed structural reforms are key to shaping Europe’s future in the context of the formidable challenges facing the continent today. This book examines the achievements and failures of past structural policies so that future ones can be adapted to address remaining and newly emerging challenges with greater success. Highlighting the social aspects and distributional effects of reforms that go beyond liberalization and deregulation, the book covers key issues facing future Europe, particularly those arising from technological innovation.
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Chapter 3: Europe’s moments of truth: wicked crises, good and badconsequences

Sonja Puntscher Riekmann


How are the multiple crises haunting the European Union (EU) since 2008 to be interpreted? In particular, who are the actors wielding the power of interpretation and thus of framing policy-making? The focus here is on the financial and fiscal crisis. The chapter, first, discusses the problem of crisis definitions promoted by political and economic actors; second, it outlines how (controversial) definitions came about in the EU; and third, it describes the resolution mechanisms as a result of specific definitions. It argues in more abstract terms that crises, however ‘wicked’, open windows of opportunities not only for more integration but also for differentiation if not for disintegration. While Brexit is an instance of disintegration, the story of integration as deepening, while that of differentiation is still open.

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