by Timothy Garton Ash, The New York Times, September 1, 2012
While we Europeans should redouble our efforts to ensure that our continent does not forget its troubled past, the need for scale is the key to our shared future. The 21st-century world will be one of giants: weary old ones, like the United States and Russia, and hungry new ones, like China, India, Brazil and South Africa. You do not need to accept the most apocalyptic forecasts of European decline to acknowledge that Europe is unlikely to remain the world’s largest economy for long. In such a world, even Germany will be a small- to medium-size power.
IF Europeans are to preserve the remarkable combination of prosperity, peace, relative social security and quality of life that they have achieved over the last 60 years, they need the scale that only the European Union can provide.
In a world of giants, you had better be a giant yourself: A trade negotiation between China and the European Union is a conversation between equals; one between China and France is an unequal affair.