With the Great Euro Panic of 2010 drawing to a close and the Great Post-Lisbon Hype long since put to bed, the season for sober analysis of the EU's malaise is upon us, and Henry Farrell's insightful essay (via Art Goldhammer) doesn't disappoint.
What I like most is Farrell's observation that, if the EU is in desperate need of a new raison d'être, it's not due to some inherent weakness or shortcoming. Rather, it's in part because its original rationale has been a victim of the union's success at home, and in part because the union's alternative model of peaceful diplomacy has simply not taken hold in the rest of the world. So the boast that there has been no great power war in Europe for more than 60 years increasingly draws a yawn, while the claim that soft power might replace military muscle is met with a condescending chuckle.
As for the case for future integration, Farrell nails the problem moving forward here as well: