Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What America Can Do for Europe

Here's a thoughtful article on Europe and what America should do about it--What America Can Do for Europe. (via Clive Davis.)

A sampling:

AS THE DUST SETTLES after the explosive referenda at the heart of the European Union, interested parties from all sides are peering nervously into the crater, trying to figure out what remains of the European "project." E.U. heads of government will meet next weekend to map an immediate route out of the debris. In the Brussels bunker, of course, the familiar instinct has kicked in--pretend nothing has happened. Incredibly, the official plan is that the other E.U. countries should simply carry on ratifying the constitutional treaty that was essentially detonated by the French and Dutch voters.

In the real world, whose characteristics are not readily recognizable to the inhabitants of the bureaucratic fantasy theme park that is the European Commission, serious reconstruction work must now begin. The "No" votes should in fact provide a real opportunity for Europe to revisit the very purpose and meaning of its union. Whatever else they have shown, the popular rejections ought surely to prompt a serious effort both to devolve power from an overweening Brussels and to reconnect the E.U. with the voters of Europe. All that is a question for the Europeans themselves to decide.

The United States, however, has always had a vital national interest in the direction Europe takes, and the events of the last month provide an opportunity for much needed reflection in Washington about the transatlantic relationship. Many of the countries of Europe have been reliable allies over the last 50 years or more. A healthy functioning relationship with this other pole of Western civilization, with its similar values and objectives, remains important to the United States. But it is time for Washington to reevaluate the best way of bringing that about...

It's a good article.

The author does call any talk about Europe collapsing into internecine strife nonsense. It all depends on how you define what internecine strife is. Another European war would be incredible, but other kinds of rivalry would not be.

1 comment:

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