Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2006 (Revised March 2008)

The European Union in the 21st Century

by J. Gunnar Trumbull


Focuses on the challenges facing the European Union in 2006. Following the French and Dutch referendums in 2005, the fate of the European Constitution is in jeopardy. Ten new accession countries have just joined the EU, with Turkey in the beginning stages of the accession process. New member states and additional future members have provoked widespread debate on financial, political, and social issues. Growth within the EU has been sluggish, with high unemployment and low investment in R&D. The EU has launched a set of reforms to create a "single passport" system of mutual recognition within the EU for capital, services, and people. Still, terrorist attacks, an upsurge in domestic violence, budgetary problems, and foreign policy, enlargement, and immigration issues plague the EU. In light of these problems, what will be the future of the EU and its constitution?

Keywords: Economic Growth; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Government Administration; European Union;


Trumbull, J. Gunnar. "The European Union in the 21st Century." Harvard Business School Case 707-021, December 2006. (Revised March 2008.)