The Euro Crisis: Ins and Outs – Multi-Speed Europe?


Written by Dr Paul Gillespie.

This paper revisits studies and debates on European integration since the 1970s to propose three major norms and three categories of decision-making structures which are useful for understanding and classifying what is at stake in negotiations on the euro zone’s future structure. It goes on to apply them to contemporary events and options. It then examines how Ireland’s interests and values are affected in the three different cases and assesses the implications for Irish policy of those choices. It concludes with some thoughts on their wider implications for Europe’s role in a period of rapid multi-polar change in global politics. The paper draws on an essay to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Asia Europe Journal on Ireland’s experience of the EU/IMF bailout deal.

Dr Paul Gillespie is a columnist and writer on international affairs for the Irish Times, from which he retired as foreign policy editor in 2009. He lectures in European politics and comparative regionalism at the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin. In 2010 he was a visiting fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence. He is a member of the executive council of the Institute of International and European Affairs. His current research is on political identities in Europe, Irish foreign policy and regions in a multi-polar world.

This paper forms part of a series of working papers on the euro crisis by leading Irish commentators.