European hegemony may no longer be sustainable. The European economic community is being held together by a fragile piece of paper called the Euro. Aside from the currency, which a Pew Foundation survey reports is still favored by most European countries, there is little else Europeans agree about or even like about each other. Perhaps the onslaught of diversity perceived by growing right wing groups is the only glue left to hold Europeans together. The current economic crisis has seen much conflict and scapegoating regarding immigrants from mostly the African continent; but now Europeans seem to be turning against one another.
“The European Union is the new sick man of Europe. The effort over the past half century to create a more united Europe is now the principal casualty of the euro crisis. The European project now stands in disrepute across much of Europe.
Support for European economic integration – the 1957 raison d’etre for creating the European Economic Community, the European Union’s predecessor – is down over last year in five of the eight European Union countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2013. Positive views of the European Union are at or near their low point in most EU nations, even among the young, the hope for the EU’s future. The favorability of the EU has fallen from a median of 60% in 2012 to 45% in 2013. And only in Germany does at least half the public back giving more power to Brussels to deal with the current economic crisis.
The sick man label – attributed originally to Russian Czar Nicholas I in his description of the Ottoman Empire in the mid-19th century – has more recently been applied at different times over the past decade and a half to Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece and France. But this fascination with the crisis country of the moment has masked a broader phenomenon: the erosion of Europeans’ faith in the animating principles that have driven so much of what they have accomplished internally.”