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Long Reads

How to Save Europe

There is no longer any point in ignoring the reality that a number of European Union member countries have explicitly rejected the EU’s goal of “ever closer union.” Instead of a “multi-speed Europe,” where all members are still heading toward the same destination, the goal should be a “multi-track Europe” that offers member states a wider variety of choices.

LONDON – The European Union is mired in an existential crisis. For the past decade, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. How did a political project that has underpinned Europe’s postwar peace and prosperity arrive at this point?

In my youth, a small band of visionaries led by Jean Monnet transformed the European Coal and Steel Community first into the European Common Market and then the EU. People of my generation were enthusiastic supporters of the process.

I personally regarded the EU as the embodiment of the idea of the open society. It was a voluntary association of equal states that banded together and sacrificed part of their sovereignty for the common good. The idea of Europe as an open society continues to inspire me.

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