Summary: Evidence suggests anaccelerating trend toward renation-alization of policy in key domainsin Europe. This trend presentsboth dangers and opportunities forEurope and the United States.For the United States, a nimblepolicy toward Europe will be essen- tial. The United States has alwaysworked with individual national gov-ernments in Europe and has beenaccused of not embracing the full-ness of European integration in theEuropean Union. America will have to acknowledge the competence of the EU in some domains even as itrecognizes that other areas requiremore intensive cooperation withindividual nations.For Europe, many see the returnof national purpose as a route toirrelevance on the global scene. Soit may be. But if renationalizationcan be turned into a more roundlysupported and authentic set of
purposes, Europe could nd itself
well positioned to play a strongerrole in the world as a whole than ithas been able to muster for itself in recent decades. The return of constructive nationalism, among
nations with well-dened rules of
cooperation, might paradoxically en-ergize Europe in ways that Brusselshas not been able to achieve.
World Wars I and II gave nationalisma very bad reputation. Te institutionsthat grew out o World War II sought toprevent the worst results o nationalisticpolicies in military, economic, andpolitical domains. NAO collectivized thedeense o Western Europe. TeBretton Woods structures aimed topromote trade and development throughmultilateral institutions. Te UnitedNations sought to collectivize politicaldecision-making where possible. In allcases, nations reserved key decision-making authority or themselves whilecommitting to cooperative eorts toreach common goals.One project, European integration, grewrom the Coal and Steel Community intoone o the most ambitious transnationalprojects in history, the European Union.Te original objective was to remove theeconomic component o the “Germanproblem” and allow Germany and itsneighbors, especially France, to live andprosper together peaceully. It did notintend to eliminate the nation-state, butit sought to temper the worst outcomeso nationalistic competition on economicterrain.NAO was established in the military sphere, as a response to Soviet intentionsin Europe as demonstrated in Berlin,Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere. Europe’spostwar weakness meant that Americanleadership and capacity would be neededto resist Soviet military expansion andpressure. NAO linked Western Europeanand American security, including Amer-ica’s nuclear guarantee, through sharedrisks and burdens on the part o all allies.Individual nations retained responsibility or their own deense establishments. Butby collectivizing national deense com-mitments under the Washington reaty (especially Article V), NAO eectively denationalized military purposes.Other institutions in all domains removedsome o the traditional authority o theEuropean nation-states, as well. Forexample, the European Court o Justice,established in 1952, plays a signicantrole in shaping judiciary review o national compliance with European laws.But the trend away rom nationalizationis now in reverse, in several importantareas. First, in economic policy, nationalapproaches prevail. Philip Stephens o the
wrote, “Te integrationistimpulse that led to the creation o a singlemarket and a European currency has longsince dissipated.” Te most obvious anddecisive example o this trend is oundin the national responses to the nancialcrisis o the last year. Policies have variedbetween the United States and Europe,and within Europe. National views o interests trumped a presumed and much-trumpeted need or a unied approach.Perhaps most crucially, voters seem tohave approved this decision on the part
[Re] Nationalization in Europe
by Joseph Wood
1744 R Street NWWashington, DC 20009T 1 202 745 3950F 1 202 265 1662E firstname.lastname@example.org
August 20, 2009
Joseph Wood is senior resident fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of GMF.