EU needs to market itself better

The EU’s 28 heads of state at a Council of the European Union meeting

Nick Inman argues that a union of 28 countries, speaking 24 languages, has a future – if it can overcome the national jealousies that fuelled Brexit

It is not that the European Union does not work. Eurosceptics never tire of saying that it cannot work.

It is dysfunctional and unfixable, they say. To expect 28 countries, speaking 24 languages and drawing on different cultural traditions, to co-operate in peace and harmony is madness.

All the signs, they point out, tell us that economic and political convergence is impossible. The euro has lurched from crisis to crisis and is bound to fail as a currency and leave misery in its wake.

Sooner or later, the argument goes, voters will realise that the convergence of countries saps national identity and preys on weak economies for no gain.

Disillusionment results in populist-nationalist parties coming to power with a commitment to withdraw from and, if possible, break up the Union. This is the anti-EU thesis.

The great surprise of Brexit, however, has been that 27 diverse states with wildly differing interests were able to maintain a united front against one recalcitrant during three years of existential crisis.

European unity has shown itself to be more than an impossible dream.

There are no signs of ...

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