Sunday, 20 February 2011

“the European Community’s best days are long gone—and there is worse to come”

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“The Europeans failed to build a military to challenge the United States, despite lofty rhetoric to the contrary,” says Rosato. “They failed to pass a constitution. And they have been slowly eviscerating the single market and single currency.”
“Simply put,” he says, “the European Community’s best days are long gone—and there is worse to come.”

Pretty straightforward words from Notre Dame University political scientist Sebastian Rosato, but they are true nonetheless. Rosato has for many years carefully studied the creation and development of the European Union. The results of his studies can be found in his book "Europe United: Power Politics and the Making of the European Community" (Cornell University Press).

Rosato challenges the prevalent idealistic view that the EU was formed out of a sense of European border-transcending fraternity:

 the real reason behind pan-European cooperation was the cold-war menace posed by Europe’s once-powerful neighbor, the Soviet Union. Now, without that same threat, European nations are beginning to heed internal political pressure to look after their own interests and will gradually turn away from the EU bureaucracy.

As Germany, the driving economy of Europe, is increasingly asked to bail out ailing national economies in southern Europe, its leaders’ “patience could reach a breaking point,” Rosato says. “They bailed the Greeks out, but Greece is small. If Italy or Spain fails, Germany could well pull out.”
Another threat to the EU’s solidarity is that France or Germany, the strongest member states, could attempt to exercise more control over the powerful European Central Bank, Rosato says.
“At that point, you may have something called the European Union,” he says, “but if you have powerful independent governments running the show, it is a union in name only.”

Read the entire article by Notre Dame University´s Mark Shuman here.

Sometimes it takes an outside observer - like Rosato - to find out the reality behind the politically correct facade. One can only hope that Rosato´s book will be read by as many Europeans as possible.

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