The European Union Needs More National Flexibility

Outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium (Yves Herman/Reuters)
Washington should drop its longstanding support for “an ever-closer union” and adopt a new policy of flexible adaptation.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE P ossessing neither the cohesion of a nation-state nor the reach of a continental empire, the European Union (EU) faces the current pandemic like a tightrope walker caught midway between cliffs. Buffeted by the crosswinds of the coronavirus, it faces the temptation to move toward the seeming safety of deeper federal union. Today, that temptation appears in the form of so-called “coronabonds,” the latest attempt to mutualize European debt within the eurozone economy.

With Emmanuel Macron ensconced in the Élysée Palace, the policy of European fiscal union enjoys the passionate support of one of Europe’s two biggest powers for the first time. Just

Peter Rough, a former director of research in the office of George W. Bush, is a fellow at the Hudson Institute.

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