"There are two categories of small countries in Europe, the small countries and those who do not know they are small," noted former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. In the age of Trump and Xi Jinping, of global warming and migration challenges, not to mention the fight against terrorism, Europe can only exist in the world if it is united. If we are optimistic, we can assume that a majority of Europeans are slowly becoming aware of this reality.
Nothing is written, but everything is accelerating
The problem is that this first challenge, of a geopolitical nature, is as if suspended by a second challenge, of an internal nature. Europe can be perceived, especially by the British, as a classic alliance based on common interests. Others would say it is primarily a "Union of values". In this respect, there are now two sides in Europe. Proponents of classical liberal democracy pay the price for the blindness of their elites leading to the excesses of capitalism, if not those of democratic processes, in the age of globalization. The other side, from the far right to the far left, is driven by a desire to transform the Union from the inside, which poorly hides its plan to destroy it.
It is the simultaneity over time of these two challenges, external and internal, that makes the situation we are facing so worrying, but so fascinating as well. History (with a capital H) hesitates before us and can go in either direction: the restart or the final break-up of the European project. Nothing is written, but everything is accelerating.