Brenner, Michael. (2007) Toward a More Independent Europe. Egmont Paper, no. 12, March 2007. [Policy Paper]
“What is to be done?” is the question Europeans are grappling with. A response requires us to clarify “about what” and “by whom.” The simple answer to the former is the European Union’s malaise – post-Constitution defeat, post budget bust-up. Malaise is undeniable. A mood of depression pervades the continent’s political elites. Its symptoms are flagging confidence and anxiety about the future. The state of mind is understandable in the light of the disunity on a daunting agenda of institutional change, reinvigorating continental economies, and solving the Turkish conundrum. All of this in an atmosphere made tense by chronic fractiousness among member governments, most of which are struggling with intractable domestic problems and a disaffected populace. Hence, the European project feels to be adrift. For those attached to the idea of an evercloser union, the outlook is glum. For those who want the Union to get on with doing well its stipulated tasks, the picture is no brighter. For Euro-skeptics of every stripe, it is a field day. I propose to illuminate the phenomenon by delineating the paths American influence takes and then by offering illustrations in the three domains of security, economics and politics.
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