UCL European Institute


Bretton Woods, Brussels, and Beyond: Redesigning the Institutions of Europe

18 June 2018, 1:00 pm–3:00 pm


Join the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the UCL European Institute for the launch of a new book on the future of Europe.

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UCL European Institute


Cruciform Building, B404-LT2 UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT


One can no longer be sure whether Europe is just at a crossroads or on the brink. The multi-faceted economic crisis has deepened. It has also become a widespread political crisis. There is little disagreement that the European integration project needs to be reformed and that this needs to be done now, before the next economic downturn. The costs of doing nothing are large and rising, and we must think of innovative ways to make reform happen in a democratic, efficient, and sustainable manner.

Economists have debated what to do and how but have been mostly silent on who and when. Which institutions and agencies are needed? In our view, not even asking the question, “Which institutions should be redesigned or even created from scratch to carry out reform in Europe?”, goes a long way towards explaining why reforms have not been implemented.

This eBook makes the case that addressing such institutional questions is of fundamental importance for the future of European integration.

The individual chapters distil the lessons from the Bretton Woods institutional framework and from the globalisation wave that followed it. The overarching questions that motivate the eBook are: Is a European Monetary Fund (EMF) sufficient? Are other institutions needed? How should these other institutions be designed and implemented? And how should they fit into the existing institutional framework?

The eBook is organised into five parts. The first examines the Bretton Woods system and European integration. The second looks at prominent European institutions (the European Parliament, the Structural Funds, and the ESM). The third focuses on financial institutions and on labour mobility. The fourth discusses key institutional aspects of monetary union. The fifth and final part highlights strategies for, and obstacles to, redesigning European institutions.


Nauro Campos - Professor of Economics, Brunel University London and Research Professor at ETH-Zürich

Nicholas Crafts - Professor of Economics and Economic History at the University of Warwick and CEPR

Paul De Grauwe - John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy, London School of Economics, and former member of the Belgian parliament

Discussant: Erik Berglöf, Director, Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics and CEPR Research Fellow