In Praise of Euroskepticism

The EU's senior officials must learn that Euroskepticism is fundamentally healthy, because it invites closer examination of the policy options open to Europe. This leads to better understanding of the issues at stake, and the reasons why some policies have been adopted that challenge or even override the sovereign powers of individual countries.

BRUSSELS -- The EU has no coherent strategy on many issues. It has only sketchy economic policies toward Russia; ambitions, but no game plan, to become a player in the Middle East; and, despite its original leadership on the Kyoto Protocol, no successor program on climate change. And the biggest question of all – how to engage with China, India, and other giants of the future – has received virtually no attention from EU-level policymakers.

These issues require attention now, and an integral part of the EU’s search for new global strategies should be to invite, rather than avoid, criticism of its activities. If the EU is to lift its gaze from its navel to the horizon, it must reconcile the very different views that exist across Europe of its place in the world and its own best interests. That means engaging with those shades of political opinion that the European Commission and the European Parliament consider “Euroskeptical.”

The counter-pressure, of course, is that EU officialdom feels unloved and unappreciated. There is an almost embattled culture among many senior officials, who fear that fanning the flames of dissent among Europe’s voters could one day knock European unity off course.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.