September 29, 2014

JOEL KOTKIN: The Sick Man Of Europe Is Europe. “The recent near breakup of the United Kingdom — something inconceivable just a decade ago — reflects a deep, pervasive problem of identity throughout the EU. The once vaunted European sense of common destiny is decomposing. Other separatist movements are on the march, most notably in Catalonia, Flanders and northern Italy. Throughout the continent, public support for a united Europe fell sharply last year. Opposition to greater integration has emerged, with anti-EU parties gaining support in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Greece, Germany and France. . . . These attitudes suggest that the EU could be devolving from a nascent super-state to something that increasingly resembles the Holy Roman Empire, a fragmented landscape of small, unimportant states wrapped in a unitary, but ephemeral crepe. This challenges the view of some Americans, particularly but not only on the left, who see Europe as a role model for the U.S.”

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