In short, the European project is failing at precisely the point that it had been attempting to solve — nationalism. The ability of leaders to make deals depends on authority that is slipping away. The public has not yet clearly defined the alternatives, but that process is under way. It is similar to what is happening in the United States with one definitive exception: In the United States, the tension between mass and elite does not threaten the disintegration of the republic. In Europe, it does.
Europe will spend the next generation sorting through this. Whether it can do so remains to be seen — though I doubt it. We know the tensions between nations and between elites and the public will redefine how Europe works. Even if things do not get any worse, the situation already has been transformed beyond what anyone would have imagined in 2007. Far from emerging as a unified force, the question will be how divided Europe will become.