Opinion (Javier Solana, former Foreign Minister of Spain, Secretary-General of NATO, and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy): “The European Union remains the world’s largest economy. With a GDP of more than €15.5 trillion, it is larger than that of the United States. And, with 20% of world trade, the EU is also the world’s second-largest exporter and importer, after China and the US, respectively. The EU is, quite simply, the world’s leading commercial power.
“But this data cannot hide the fact that the institutional model that made today’s integrated Europe possible is inadequate to the problems created by the financial crisis. So we Europeans need to deepen European integration with much greater determination and speed. If we do not, there is a real risk that social discontent will undermine the EU’s foundations before we can complete the process of integration that will resolve the problems now blighting the lives of millions of people.
“Europe will need to bet on greater integration in order to escape this predicament. And, unavoidably, integration will lead to a united, coherent, and effective European foreign policy, one that is adapted to a world that is changing at dizzying speed.
“Today’s world is already multipolar. But multi-polarity provides no guarantee that the international system will be capable of being governed by common rules, without which global affairs will become much more dangerous and conflict-ridden.
“It is precisely here that Europe has something to offer the world. It is still the leader in institutional innovation – one of this century’s greatest needs – and is the best and most successful historical example of it, as its Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 acknowledged. …
“Our prosperity and the viability of our socioeconomic model are at stake. That should convince us that Europe’s states are too small to act globally on their own, and that European integration is the only viable path.”
My Comment: I would add one more condition: If the EU does not adopt an integral method of correction of the crisis (integral education), it will become a bad example for the whole world!