Europe is drifting and divided. This feels more like 1914 than 2014 | World news | The Guardian

Increasingly fractious and enfeebled, our politicians may drift into an EU breakup just as, 100 years ago, we drifted into war

As in much else in 2014, it feels eerily like the prelude to the outbreak of war in 1914 must have felt. Everyone knows something is terribly, dangerously wrong with the way we are conducting our collective affairs, woefully short-term in our responses, seeking safety by compromising on the basics – like a householder cancelling the fire insurance to save money.

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The other day the EU abandoned a case it was making at the World Trade Organisation against China over allegedly illegal subsidies to makers of Chinese mobile phone network equipment. It’s said that the Europeans were too divided and that Beijing has been picking them off singly with national concessions.

Too divided to negotiate together, too weak to negotiate alone? If we’re not careful, that may be the future and it isn’t a cheerful prospect. Divided we fall.

Europe is drifting and divided. This feels more like 1914 than 2014 | World news | The Guardian