The debate around this subject so far has been inconclusive and has not provided comprehensive solutions to the crises that European economies are facing. Aside from dealing with immediate urgencies, in the medium to longer term the frameworks and institutions governing the EU and the single currency need to be strengthened. The absence of a clear and agreed direction for these reforms has unsettled markets and led to uncertainty about the future direction of policy.

A series of workshops in London, Rome and Madrid, with policy-makers, officials, regulators, academics and representatives from the private sectors from across Europe, have been held to help facilitate dialogue on how to produce a coherent, sustainable strategy for reform. Topics discussed included macroeconomic and fiscal imbalances, structural reforms and policies for growth in Italy and Spain, and the prospects for a banking union.

The project culminated in the publication of a joint Chatham House, Elcano and AREL report that examines why the economic and monetary union (EMU) was so badly affected by the crisis, and assesses whether further changes need to be made to the structure of economic governance that underpins it.

The project was set up and led by the International Economics department at Chatham House, in collaboration with the Elcano Royal Institute and AREL, and with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Great Britain office), and the Italian Banking Association (ABI).