Decaying Venice or Irrelevant Switzerland?
Mostly, I agree with it, although I have my doubts about Blair’s suitability for the role into which Dominique Moisi casts him. But the need to replace the unpopular, ineffective, opportunistic and above all weak current leaders of France, Italy and Germany seems indisputable, even if it means Sarkozy and Merkel. Europe's progress so far has to some extent been based on the prestige engendered by its economic successes, which were achieved , at times, as in the early eighties, by socialist Finance Ministers such as Delors and Wim Kok imposing unpopular deregulation.
However I did have a problem with a detail in one passage of the article.
'This petty nationalism reveals a weakness in the European project, one that is largely due to great European leaders of the past such as Jacques Delors, the former European Commission president. In his opposition to a European kind of nationalism based on emotion, Mr Delors left Europe vulnerable to the assaults of emotional irrationality. In the French and Dutch referendums, the Yes camp left the weapons of emotion for the sole use of the No camp. Today, no sense of European patriotism can be mobilised to restrain national jingoism. '
Wasn’t it in fact European Commission President Delors who said, in a 1993 speech to European church leaders:
“We won't succeed with Europe solely on the basis of legal expertise or economic know-how. If in the next ten years we haven't managed to give a soul to Europe, to give it spirituality and meaning, the game will be up”.