Hallmarks of an EU power play

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To the many explanations of the great European crisis, US political scientist Francis Fukuyama has just added another one. In a speech at the University of Geneva, now republished in The American Interest, he made a number of observations: that the EU was an elite-driven project; that there had never been much grassroots support for a European superstate; and that national identities remained stronger than pan-European idealism.

All of this is correct, and in fact Fukuyama is not the first commentator to come to these conclusions. However, in his speech he also made one claim that, frankly, puzzled me: “The EU in many respects was created as a technocratic exercise done for purposes of economic efficiency.” Really? Was European integration the result of a deliberate attempt to increase economic welfare? Or was it not rather driven by entirely different considerations?

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