Europe: Coalescence in Diversity

T.M.C. Asser Institute for International & European Law 2016-4

Nederlands Juristenblad 1 (2016)

14 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2016 Last revised: 30 Jun 2017

See all articles by Ernst Hirsch Ballin

Ernst Hirsch Ballin

Tilburg Law School; T.M.C. Asser Instituut; University of Amsterdam

Date Written: February 1, 2016


No panacea is available for the situation in which seven plagues have descended on the European Union: the banking crisis, the virtual collapse of the Greek government, the Ukraine crisis, the civil war in Syria, the refugee crisis, the effects of climate change, and the threat of a Brexit. The biblical story of the seven plagues that struck Egypt’s Pharaoh was not a precursor to the threat assessments produced by the Dutch national counter-terrorism organisation (NCTV) but is an incentive to reflection providing the opportunity for fresh approaches. In order to make use of that opportunity, however, the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union need not follow in the footsteps of Moses, even though there is in fact much to be learned from Moses as a political leader. A knowledge and understanding of past history are nevertheless useful, as is an analysis that succeeds in breaking away from stereotypical framing. The policy document on the Presidency that the government has presented to both houses of the Dutch parliament aims above all to keep the EU “on course” and contribute to the growth of employment through sustainable growth, progress on the current “dossiers”, and bridge building, but it does not explore any new routes.

Keywords: European Union, European legislation, European policy, diversity, unity

Suggested Citation

Hirsch Ballin, Ernst M.H., Europe: Coalescence in Diversity (February 1, 2016). T.M.C. Asser Institute for International & European Law 2016-4, Nederlands Juristenblad 1 (2016), Available at SSRN:

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