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Europe’s Two-Speed Future

PARIS – For three years, the euro crisis has threatened not only to unravel the eurozone, but to bring down the entire European Union with it. Although the pressure from financial markets has moderated, for now, a long-term resolution to the crisis remains an existential priority for the EU.

In today’s highly competitive global economy, European countries’ relatively small size, aging populations, and excessive indebtedness, combined with a lack of energy resources and insufficient investment in research and development, mean that their high living standards and generous social-welfare states are in jeopardy. Individually, they cannot compete with emerging markets; they need a strong EU to face the challenges posed by globalization.