BRUSSELS – Some say that political theater, not policies, drives democracies, and that’s certainly true of the drama – with comic overtones – that has been playing out in the European Union. The European Parliament elections in late May highlighted the “big picture” of the EU’s accelerating unpopularity; yet that warning was quickly eclipsed by the much smaller question of who should head the EU’s executive, the European Commission.
Needless to say, it’s the big picture that really matters. The message of the European Parliament election was that the EU is losing public support at an alarming rate. For a few weeks, the focus of attention in Brussels and most European capitals was on the reforms needed to recover the trust of almost 300 million voters.