Europe's Next Step.

|

What's next for Europe? The Observer's Will Hutton says the project of European integration is at a turning point:

If mishandled, the crisis may even lead to closure, protection, recession and the disintegration of the euro – and the balkanisation of Europe into mutually suspicious and hostile camps. The end of an era of easy movement from country to country embodied by cheap flights, a single currency and growing interpenetration of each other's economies is now in prospect. Historians may come to say that Europeans never knew they had it so good, but then they threw it away.

How's this: wider integration is where it's at, deeper integration is the Pandora's box of the European experiment. Drop the political, salvage the economic and finish the job developing and integrating the east.

Deeper integration, political integration is the elephant riding Europe. Jean Monnet's "United States of Europe," according the BBC's John Simpson, is dead. Forcing member states to sacrifice political autonomy to Brussels will be met with harsh consequences that could sink the single market and the euro. Instead of producing a richer Europe, the political carnage will leave an economic shell behind.