In the heart of Europe's current crisis, one of the continent's foremost statesmen issues a clarion call to radically remake the European Union in the mold of the United States' own federal government
Europe is caught in its greatest crisis since the Second World War. The catalog of ills seems endless: an economic crisis spread through most of Europe's Mediterranean tier that has crippled Greece and driven a wedge between northern and southern Europe; terrorist attacks in Paris, Cologne, Brussels, and Nice; growing aggression from Russia in Ukraine and the Baltic states; and refugees escaping war-torn neighbors. The European Union's inability to handle any of these disasters was a driving factor in Great Britain voting to leave, and others may soon follow. The result won't just be a continent in turmoil, but also a serious threat to American and British security-the Atlantic, let alone the Channel, simply isn't big enough to keep European troubles in Europe. For everyone's sake, Europe must survive.
The question is how. In Europe's Last Chance, Guy Verhofstadt-former prime minister of Belgium and current leader of the liberal faction in the European Parliament-provides the essential framework for understanding Europe today, laying bare the absurdity of a system in which each member state can veto legislation, opt in or out of the Euro, or close borders on a whim. But Verhofstadt does not just indict the European Union, he also offers a powerful vision for how the continent can change for the better. The key, argues Verhofstadt, is to reform the European Union along the lines of America's federal government: a United States of Europe strong enough to stand with the United States of America in making a better, safer world.
A visionary book from one of today's luminaries of European leadership, Europe's Last Chance is a clarion call to save the European Union, one of the world's greatest chances for peace and prosperity.
Verhofstadt, former prime minister of Belgium, issues a call to action in this thoughtful and well-argued policy primer. Verhofstadt states that Europe is in crisis and "stretched beyond measure" due to various problems: Brexit, an influx of refugees, ISIS, Russia's aggression, and more. He offers a new vision intended to unite Europe and dispel old nationalisms, which, he states, pose even more danger than these new issues. Europe needs to pull together much as the United States did after discarding the "terribly ineffective" Articles of Confederation in favor of the U.S. Constitution. He see Europe's only remedy as being the American federal model, stating that a united Europe can better head off terrorism and survive economic downturns. In five sections, respectively entitled "At the Brink," "Delusion," "Decay," "Panic," and "Rebirth," Verhofstadt anatomizes Europe's fractured state. Ultimately, he remains hopeful for a truly united continent that can protect its citizens, remain a valuable American ally, and face future challenges. Impassioned and logically sound, this clearly presented treatise presents an appealing way forward from a troubled present.