Too many European citizensfeel abused by, and increasinglyhostile to, the EU.
reaty in 1991 a virtual state by 2020.
Tese views wereincreasingly shared by not only a preponderant UnitedStates that welcomed the resurgence o its ally o choicewith renewed calls or enlarging its role in the world, butalso by the surging non-Western “rest” that projectedEurope as a leading alternative to U.S. dominance, as wellas an example o a region that could tame its past andrestore its uture.
A Fragmenting Core
Conditions have changed. Leaving a short but painulcentury o nationalist wars and institutional redemption,“Europe” has become a contentious political issue, withinand among most o its members. oo many Europeancitizens, bottom up, eel abused by, and increasingly hostileto, the EU because they disagree over what it is, questionwhat it does, neglect what it has achieved, and difer overwhat they want out o it next. As a so-called region-state,Europe, it is argued, produces too much policy or themember-states and pays too little attention to the politicso the nation-states — a sel-deeating lack o institutionalaccountability that eeds a populist mood o anti-EUsentiment.
In recent years, the single currency, admittedly announced and launched carelessly, has become the most visible source o such Euro-resentment, aimed at economicconditions that vary excessively among the 27 EU coun-tries.
But more than at any time in the past, the currentEU crisis transcends any single issue or national leader.It is a
crisis, and whether a public willingness toproceed can be rekindled in coming years will demand notonly a credible understanding o what “Europe” does and
6 Andrew Moravcsik, “Europe: Rising Superpower in a Bipolar World,” in Alan Alexandroff and Andrew Cooper, eds.,
Rising states, Rising Institutions, Challenges for GlobalGovernance
(Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2010), p. 152. Also by Moravcsik,see “Europe’s Integration at Century’s End,” in A. Moravcsik, ed.,
Centralization or Fragmentation: Europe Facing the Challenges of Deepening, Diversity, and Democracy
(New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1998), pp. 4-5. Interestingly, expectations thatthe EU will be governed on the basis of a constitution remained high in France and inHolland a year after a constitutional draft was rejected in referendums held in bothcountries.
EU 2020 — the View of the Europeans
, Berteslmann Stiftung (September 20,2006).7 The U.S. desire for strong EU leadership in world affairs peaked at 79-80 percentin 2002-2004, but it has been falling since 2009 (from 72 percent to a decade low63 percent in 2012). The German Marshall Fund,
, p. 8.Bertelsmann Stiftung,
Who Rules the World?
(Brussels, 2005)8 Vivien Schmidt argues this point often and convincingly. For example, “Re-envisioning the European Union,”
Journal of Common Market Studies
(annual review, 2009): 17-42.9 By the fall of 2012, according to Eurobarometer (December 20, 2012), 75 percent of the people in Germany and Sweden believed that economic conditions were good, versusless than 10 percent in 10 member states, including 9 percent in France and 7 percent inItaly, and under 2 percent in Spain and Greece.
with whom, but also specic evidence o what it can doand how, as well as a convincing vision o what Europe is tobecome and when.
France and Germany have driven Europe or the past ourdecades; they orm the core o the hard core. Now, however,Europe’s “locomotive” is running out o steam as both o its conductors are seemingly running out o time: a weakerFrance, which is growing unhappy with the EU and sufersrom renewed concerns over a neighbor it is no longerable to lead but not yet willing to ollow; and a strongerGermany, still on the whole prepared to acknowledge thebenets o EU membership, but increasingly weary o its mercurial French partner while unable to escape, andunwilling to assert, its own leadership.Te questions raised by these two countries are hardly new — about their bilateral relations, as well as abouttheir expectations or the EU. At rst, periods o inti-macy — between de Gaulle and German ChancellorKonrad Adenauer, and between their successors Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Helmut Schmidt — were inter-rupted by moments o discord — between de Gaulle andLudwig Erhard, and between Georges Pompidou andWilly Brandt. Early in the 1980s, François Mitterrandand Helmut Kohl grew especially close, and yet late in thedecade, the French president shared Margaret Tatcher’sconcern about Germany’s reunication, as well as herdoubts about the commitment o “a new generation o Germans” to Europe.
Teir ambivalence seemed vindi-cated when Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who had beenbarely one year old when the war ended, sought to endhis country’s subservience to France and the other leadingcountries o the Grand Alliance by making o Germany,
The EuroFuture Project
, Paper Series, The German MarshallFund of the United States, January 2012.11 Margaret Thatcher,
The Downing Street Years
(New York: Harper Collins, 1993), p.338.