Geographically, Europe is not a continent. However, the area is bonded by common historical and religious heritage. Through a combination of its Roman-law legacy and Christianity, Europe developed a culture of individualism and self-responsibility that allowed the area’s staggering economic and scientific development over the last 300 years. As a result, the European system spread across the globe.

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A chart showing the increase in eurozone banks’ exposure to sovereign debt during the coronavirus crisis

Is there a future for the EU’s banking union?

The eurozone’s banking industry barely survived the 2008-2012 financial crisis. A common regulatory and supervisory system, a banking union, was meant to make the industry more resilient. A decade later, this “single rule book” remains incomplete as transferring responsibility for banking policy from the national to supranational level has met strong resistance. 

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