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Europe’s Destiny: The Old Lady and the Bull

Scholars and politicians debating the future of Europe usually fall into two camps. There are the Euro-enthusiasts, claiming that Brussels – backed by a strong single market and an increasingly harmonious Union – has a bright future. And the Euroskeptics, declaring that the days of European progress are gone and that the continent is bound to helplessly watch how the winners of globalization steal its global influence. The view that Europe lacks vision and is in deep political and economic trouble, is en vogue– and flourishing not only in Washington and Beijing, but in Brussels itself. Current trends indeed cause concern. Europe is the world’s slowest-growing region, its budgets are strained, and its population is aging at an alarming pace. Euro-enthusiasts counter, arguing that the EU’s population is still larger than that of the U.S. and Russia combined, and it is the world’s biggest trading bloc and largest single market. So, what is Europe – an economically stagnant ‘continent of the past’ or an evolving global power?

 

Scholars and politicians debating the future of Europe usually fall into two camps. There are the Euro-enthusiasts, claiming that Brussels – backed by a strong single market and an increasingly harmonious Union – has a bright future. And the Euroskeptics, declaring that the days of European progress are gone and that the continent is bound to helplessly watch how the winners of globalization steal its global influence. The view that Europe lacks vision and is in deep political and economic trouble, is en vogue– and flourishing not only in Washington and Beijing, but in Brussels itself. Current trends indeed cause concern. Europe is the world’s slowest-growing region, its budgets are strained, and its population is aging at an alarming pace. Euro-enthusiasts counter, arguing that the EU’s population is still larger than that of the U.S. and Russia combined, and it is the world’s biggest trading bloc and largest single market. So, what is Europe – an economically stagnant ‘continent of the past’ or an evolving global power?

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