The Battle for Europe

The European summit in Brussels this weekend was intended to equip the European Union with a constitution that would enable it to handle the challenges posed by the admission of ten new member states next spring. Instead, the summit's breakdown may be an advance warning that this enlargement could prove to be so disruptive as to lead, not to a benign transformation of the EU, but to its radical dislocation.

On past precedent, the odds ought to be against any dramatic disaster. The EU has confronted many political crises in the past, some much more severe than this one. On every previous occasion, member states preferred compromise to rupture.

Chances are they will do so again. Indeed, downplaying the gravity of the latest crisis is easy: one can argue that the immediate cause of the breakdown, when examined closely, is not really all that serious.

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

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in;

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.