Is the EU making progress? Experts answer with a resounding ‘sort of.’

December 14, 2012

The most common question asked (shouted?) these days about the euro zone crisis is along the lines of, "WHEN WILL IT FINALLY END?!"

According to a Brookings Institution mini-crowd sourcing effort, the answer is: none too soon. Brookings polled 14 European and American experts on how much progress they believe the currency union has made on six key issues that arguably need to be addressed for the euro's  future to be secured. The group included such heavyweights as former Federal Reserve governor Donald Kohn, Cornell University economics professor Eswar Prasad and former IMF board member Domenico Lombardi.

The poll's average result indicates... progress, sort of. But three years after Greece's debt problems first surfaced, there are some pronounced shortcomings in European leaders' efforts to stave off a continent-wide unraveling: On a scale of 0 to 100, for example, the group assessed progress toward a political union at a mere 37, and the experts gave the same rating to the economic adjustments needed to make the region more globally competitive:


Source: Brookings Institution

If the group -- and it is an impressive set of thinkers -- is correct, that means a long slog is still ahead in Europe.

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Ezra Klein · December 14, 2012