Utopia Meets Reality in the EU

by Stratfor
Financial Sense

EU leaders obsessed with the idea of a federal Europe are losing touch with their populations and are fueling nationalist and Euroskeptic sentiment across the Continent. At least, this is how Donald Tusk, European Council president, summarized the situation in Europe during a May 30 European People’s Party summit. According to Tusk, EU leaders create “all kinds of utopias — a utopia of Europe without nation states, a utopia of Europe without conflicting interests and ambitions,” even though “the citizens of Europe do not share our Euro-enthusiasm.” Tusk is not the first EU representative to question the future of Continental integration (EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently made similar statements). But Tusk’s choice of words is notable. EU integration has often been described as a goal, an aspiration or even a dream — all concepts that involve a degree of hope to achieve a possibility. But by definition, a utopia is an imaginary place that exists only as an ideal; the word itself comes from the Greek “ou-topos,” meaning “nowhere.” Tusk has therefore admitted that a fully integrated Europe, however ideal, is impossible.

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