Union or Concert in Europe?

by Horst Mendershausen

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In spite of evidence that Western Europe has already found a fairly steady political format, the notion persists that it is on the way to forming a political union. In fact, Western Europe has formed an informal alliance system of autonomous states--a flexible European concert that can join and negotiate with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan as circumstances warrant. The need to believe in eventual union is prompted, in Europe, by the theory that only a union can ensure peace and a yearning by politicians for a great empire, and a justification of the national state. For the people at large, the "supermarket" matters more than the "superpower." In America, it is prompted by a mixture of naivete and political expediency. There are, however, solid reasons and appropriate ways for the United States to participate in the European concert of states. 3 pp.

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