by Karl Aiginger
The European project is a long-run success story. Up to the 1990s, Europe thrived and experienced rising prosperity, as well as a catching up process with technology frontiers, while simultaneously extending its welfare model. The integration process, starting with six Member States, led to a single market of 28 countries. It culminated in the creation of a currency union for 330 million Europeans. The political integration of former communist countries and their economic catching-up with Western Europe were achieved at an unprecedented historical pace.