First, Europe's paternalistic welfare states are struggling to survive the dual forces of European integration and globalization. Citizens are fighting back, insisting that the state reassert its sovereignty to block unwelcome change. When they voted down the EU constitution last May, many French citizens blamed the "ultra-liberal" EU for their economic woes. This spring, rioters took to France's streets to block labor reforms. Italians grumble that adopting the euro has depressed their economy. Especially in France, Germany and Italy, governments are caught in the middle, squeezed from above by the pressures of competitive markets and from below by an electorate clinging to the comforts of the past and fearful of the future. The result is political stalemate and economic stagnation, which only intensify the public's discontent and its skepticism of the benefits of European integration.
Second, a combination of the EU's enlargement and the influx of Muslim immigrants has diluted traditional European identities and created new social cleavages. The EU now has 25 member-states at very different levels of development. Fifteen million Muslims reside within the EU, and Turkey, with 70 million Muslims, is knocking on the door. Too many of Europe's Muslims are achingly alienated, inviting radicalism. Unaccustomed to a multiethnic society and fearful of an Islamist threat from within, the EU's majority populations are retreating behind the illusory comfort of national boundaries and ethnic concepts of nationhood.
Third, European politics is growing increasingly populist. Voters see both European and national institutions as elitist and detached. In France, the far-right National Front is enjoying unprecedented popularity; in a recent survey, one-third called the anti-immigrant party in tune with "the concerns of the French people." Polish voters recently elected a president, Lech Kaczynski, who insists that "what interests the Poles is the future of Poland and not that of the EU."
Finally, Europe is lacking the strong leadership needed to breathe new life into the union. Governments in London, Paris, Berlin and Rome are fragile and preoccupied by their divided and angry electorates. Generational change is exacerbating matters. For Europeans who lived through World War II and its bitter aftermath, the EU is a sacred antidote to Europe's bloody past. But this generation is passing, and younger Europeans have no past from which they seek escape — and no passion for political union.
Give me a freaking break.
Basically, the author seems upset that people are interested in the interests of their own countries ahead of the glorious EU! Horrors!
Europeans are worried about alienated Moslems who support jihad and riot! The racists!
Europeans are worried about their welfare states and don't think that a Brussels-based bureaucracy can help! What fools!
He appears to argue that the elites of Europe should boldly push through the EU political union despite the objections of those bloody peasants who don't remember World War II and who will just get Europeans killed again in bloody wars that only the EU with supreme political power can suppress. Those goose-stepping maniacs!
Really, the EUrocrats have spent decades crafting a new socialist empire and all this work is to be put at risk because those descendants of peasants can't appreciate the sophistication and brilliance of a phone book-sized constitution that enshrines 57 varieties of official cheeses?
The EU as a political entity is "adrift" and "at risk" is it? Well good. It will be better for America and better for Europeans, too. Stick to a common market and we'll all be better off.
Die. With or without festering boils, die!
UPDATE: Mad Minerva notes another blogger wishing for the EU's destruction. No mention by him of festering boils, though. So I got that going for me.