Europeans must see their destinies lie together

It is not that the European Union does not work, Eurosceptics tell us, it is that it cannot work. To expect 28 countries with 24 languages and different cultures to co-operate is madness, they say.

The euro has lurched from crisis to crisis and is bound to fail. Soon voters will realise that the convergence of countries saps national identity and preys on weak economies for no gain.

Disillusion will result in populist-nationalist parties winning power with a commitment to break up the Union.

That is the anti-EU thesis.

The surprise of Brexit, however, has been that 27 states with differing interests maintained a united front during three years of existential crisis. European unity has proved more than a dream.

Any recent cracks on Brexit are a return to family squabbling, not a serious falling out. There is no sign of an imminent Swexit, Grexit or Spexit. Rather the opposite: no one can work out what the British hope to gain.

Brexit has reminded Europeans that they need to think harder about how to nurture “a more united, stronger and democratic union”, a phrase from European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s 2017 state of the union address that has been revived as a call to action by the commission.

And so ...

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