Matthew Yglesias flags what he calls "the shifting sands inside the German political elite" regarding the need to strengthen the European Union's political-economic governance mechanisms, but then concludes:
Unfortunately, I think that's putting too optimistic a spin on things. The truth is, this kind of European debate has long existed among Europe's political elites. The problem, then and now, is that it exists alongside simultaneous debates that break down along nationalist lines as well as debates that break down along simplistic Europhile vs. Europhobe lines. The former pit member states' interests against each other, whether within the political context of the EU or as arguments against the union, and was on display in the initial German reaction to the Greek bailout. The latter are just irrational attachments to exaggerated images of the union's potential, for better and worse.
For now, though, the truly European debates are largely confined to political elites and those parties -- particularly the Greens -- that have recognized the potential field of action that the union represents. For that kind of debate to really be popularized, a European identity will have to emerge. Not one that erases or supplants national identities, because that is unrealistic. But one that realistically expresses the political aspirations that only Europe can hope to meet in a globalized but not post-national world.