Over the past 60 years, the process of European integration has gradually transformed a divided, war-torn continent into a model for reconciliation and unification and a prosperous global leader. Recently, however, a crisis of confidence has gripped the European Union and threatens not only its economic strength, but also its social, political, and institutional durability. The crisis is now testing the limits of integration within the current framework. Increasingly, Europe appears to be at a crossroads between competing visions for “more Europe” or a “multi-speed Europe” with variable degrees of integration.
On March 4, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE), in cooperation with the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the European Parliament’s Liaison Office, hosted a discussion with European Parliament Member and Chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group Guy Verhofstadt. In his comments, Mr. Verhofstadt considered the EU’s future political and economic integration and the parallels with America’s experiment in federalism. David Frum of Newsweek and The Daily Beast offered comments and moderated the discussion. Senior Fellow Fiona Hill, director of CUSE, provided introductory remarks.