What Happened to "Europe"?
American Interest, July/August 2010, v5, #6
"Geopolitical reality tends to change far more slowly than perceptions of it. To take a geophysical analogy: Underlying trends are like plate tectonics, slow to develop but irresistible over time; perceptions are like the weather, sometimes dramatic, often unpredictable and hardly irrelevant, but of lesser impact all the same. Perceptions of Europe have shifted markedly in just the past few years. Where once stood an attractive post-nationalist model of peace, prosperity, social justice and ecological virtue now stumbles a larger but seemingly aimless and far more ungainly project. Europe today seems apathetic about its achievements, confused about its future and largely ignored by those not directly affected by it. Thanks to the financial crisis and its meandering aftermath, Europe’s problems and limits seem lately to have accumulated into a genuine crisis."
- A Crisis of Wishing
- Hubris Hurts
- Drifting and at Risk "For a host of reasons, the European project, one of the most impressive international achievements of the past fifty years, is in deep crisis. “Malaise”, a word made famous by President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, now seems the most apt description of the European Union’s mood."
Richard Burt, a former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, is managing director at McLarty Associates, an international advisory firm.
- Diversity Wins Out
- A Retired Power "As it stands now, Europe has lost its self-confidence, its energy and its hopes that the next century will be the “European century.” From Beijing to Washington—and even in Brussels it-self—the Old Continent is widely viewed as a spent geopolitical force, as a great place to live but not a great place to dream."
Ivan Krastev is chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and a fellow in the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.
- Beyond the Atlantic
Decision Time "The Obama Administration’s apparent snubbing of Europe notwithstanding, Transatlantic relations still matter enormously to both sides. [...] We need a mature bond of kindred civilizations devoted to advancing the principles we share, rooted in reality and in the independent capacities of both partners, that will last."
Ana Palacio is a lawyer specializing in European law. She has served as Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain and has held different senior positions in the EU institutions.
F7/02-10, posted June 21, 2010