American perspectives on the European Union
Pejman Yousefzadeh writes about the defeat of the EU Constitution in France and the Netherlands:
Perhaps, you believe, the Europeans have successfully thrust aside the sclerotic bureaucracy that hindered effective and dynamic policymaking and opted instead for a devolution of power that would help energize the European socioeconomic and sociopolitical structure, instead of a centralization of power that would kill every creative policy impulse yet remaining on the continent.Gerard Baker, writing for the Editors of the Weekly Standard, argues that the unification of Europe must be less elitist and more populist in its implementation if it is to lead to a stronger Europe.
The administration should stop forthwith insisting that it believes ever deeper and closer European integration is in America's best interest. This was true in the Cold War, when Western European fragmentation would have been a real problem in the fight against communism. But in the more complex post-9/11 world, in which threat perceptions and strategies differ across the Atlantic and within Europe, it is no longer self-evidently in U.S. interests that the E.U. try to eliminate national policies.UPDATE: Here's another interesting American perspective. Bret Stephens writing for the Wall Street Journal editorial page attempts to separate European myth from European reality.
In the case of the euro, it's true, Europeans have been better served by a single well-managed currency than by a basket of sometimes poorly managed ones. Still, the same Maastricht Treaty that created the euro also imposed arbitrary budget-deficit caps that precluded tax cuts, and every year the EU comes closer to harmonizing its fiscal and regulatory regimes, with ruinous consequences for competition and job creation.