The project of a united Europe has never been objectionable to me, despite its status as an object of reflexive loathing on the American right. We’ve forgotten just what a bloody and dangerous font of violence Europe used to be—costing hundreds of thousands of American lives in the process—and so we forget that a deadening bureaucracy suffocating the Continent is a much preferable alternative to the historical precedent.
The European Union then is preferable to the bloc politics and subjugation that characterized most of European history. Churchill understood it, and the French strategists who saw the value in a superstructure tying Germany to themselves understood it.
Nevertheless the EU is dead. Consider:
- The European Union was unable to prevent or persuade against the secession of one of its largest constituent nations.
- The European Union was unable to play any meaningful role in a pandemic that ravaged several of its member states.
- The European Union was unable to prevent or preclude a Russian military mission entering one of its major member states.
- The European Union was unable to prevent, or bring consequences for, one of its member states from sliding from democratic liberality to authoritarian dictatorship.
- The European Union was unable to muster the political will to withstand pressure from the Communist Party of China.
- The European Union was unable to provide credible security guarantees to its member states as NATO went into precipitous decline.
The European Union is dead. Something will arise in its place. But this is Europe: we should be prepared for the possibility it will be something worse.