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In the name of Europe

European integration is getting blamed for painful economic reform. Christopher Tugendhat, a former European commissioner, says driving through Emu ahead of public opinion will make matters worse

For the first time in more than 40 years of integration the European idea is no longer associated with economic prosperity. Europe is becoming a scapegoat for the sometimes harsh economic reforms required to qualify for, and then stay in, the European single currency. Domestic politicians, on both the left and the right, often support the logic of cutting large deficits and reforming labour markets quite independently of European integration. But it is so much easier to shuffle responsibility for the associated sacrifices on to “Europe.”

This is now taking its toll on attitudes even in traditionally Europhile states. According…

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