December 20, 2003


A crisis in Europe (Japan Times, 12/21/03)

The European Union's failure last week to agree on a new constitution raises crucial questions about the future of the union. Negotiations will resume next year, but the odds of success then are not likely to be much better. Although the consequences of failure may be the best incentive for a deal, that proved to be insufficient motivation this time around. A more intriguing question is whether failure actually suits some countries: It could liberate the EU and allow like-minded governments to move ahead at their own speed. While that holds out the promise of deepening integration for the willing, it could create a "two-tier" Europe that undermines the hopes of the union's founders.

Yes, well, there are at least two Europes: the Old Europe, which is generally more comfortable with statism, and the Europe which is traditionally more closely associated with the United States and the belief in liberty--led by Poland and Britain. Why shouldn't groups that differ so widely in their core values break into separate alliances?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 20, 2003 7:12 PM

It must be terribly gratifying for Japan to be able to point out what appears to be the dismal state of affairs in Europe.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 21, 2003 7:20 AM
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