Alexis Tsipras NurPhoto/Getty Images

Europe’s Illiberal Establishment

The European Union's supposedly liberal elites – in London and around the continent – are aghast at how populism is tearing Europe apart. Like the Bourbons, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

ATHENS – On March 25, Europe’s leaders convened in the birthplace of the “European project” to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. But what exactly was there to celebrate?

Were they reveling in Europe’s disintegration, which they now call “multi-speed” or “variable geometry” Europe? Or were they there to applaud their business-as-usual approach to every crisis – an approach that has fanned the flames of xenophobic nationalism throughout the European Union?

Even dyed-in-the-wool Europhiles admitted that the Rome gathering felt more like a wake than a party. A few days later, British Prime Minister Theresa May sent her letter to the EU formally triggering the United Kingdom’s slow but irreversible exit.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/fPwx4vp;

Handpicked to read next

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.