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The EU and the governance of globalisation

25/09/2006
International Policies
The system of multilateral rules and institutions that constitutes the globaleconomic governance regime trails the rapid transformation of the worldeconomy and the rise of pressing global issues. It faces significant challengessuch as the resurgence of economic nationalism. It needs to adapt to changes inthe geopolitical background and to a growing number and diversity ofparticipants in global economic integration. It must learn to coexist withregionalism and the market-led governance.It is possible for globalisation to proceed with weak global governance, but notwithout significant risks to its sustainability. The EU, which has a stake in themultilateral system and most likely a comparative advantage in institutionaldesign, should be a key player in its reform agenda. The difficulty of the task isno excuse for avoiding it and for hiding behind US leadership. To equip itselfwith the ability to take initiatives towards reform, the EU requires changes in itsown internal governance and its external representation. Contrary toconventional wisdom, these changes need not imply a federalisation of externalrelations.