Jean Blondel

Il modello svizzero: un futuro per l'Europa?

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The object of this paper is to look at what Switzerland and the European Union have in common and to draw some lessons from their common characteristics. The Author first ascertains what are the major problems which Europe has to face in its move towards integration and compares its problems with those faced by Switzerland. Then he turns to an examination of the nature of the institutional arrangements of the Swiss Confederacy and of those of the European Union to see to what extent they are similar and whether the European Union would gain by modelling its institutions more closely on those of Switzerland. Finally, some other characteristics of the Swiss political life are examined to see whether their introduction might benefit the European Union. According to the Author, Switzerland can provide guidance to the European Union as well as demonstrate to both sceptics and enthusiasts that in the path towards unity, the cultural and social diversity of Europe can be protected and has to be protected. To make such a development fully acceptable the Author recognized that, above all, progress towards unity has to be slow, very slow indeed.

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