Abstract and Keywords
European integration has been a pillar of post-war Italy’s political and economic order. This chapter analyses Italy’s relationship with the European Union, showing how Italy has shaped Europe and how European integration has shaped Italian politics. The hurdles of European integration, such as the fulfillment of the criteria for monetary union, were seen as a catalyst for Italy’s modernization, and have extensively shaped the country and its politics. Yet Italy has also shaped European integration, playing a key role in determining choices made at the European level. Commitment to European integration transcends the political spectrum and has been a key element in Italian political discourse, being used by political forces to gain legitimacy. The onset of the economic crisis has and eroded this pro-European consensus and revealed the incompleteness of modernization efforts, sparking growing debate on European integration and whether it continues to be the road to modernization.
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