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6/27/16

European Union: Post-Brexit: EU Still a Superpower - by Steven Hill

If you type the words “European Union” and “crisis” into the Google search engine, you instantly receive 115 million hits. When I did that back in 2009, before the eurozone crisis, “only” 58 million hits popped up. Is the EU really in that much worse shape today?

Apparently yes, according to the daily headlines. Recall that even before the Brexit vote, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that Europe could “fall apart within months.”

But this is not the first time that political leaders and media outlets have declared the end of Europe.
Prior to the economic crisis of 2008, the European economy was written off by most analysts as suffering from “Eurosclerosis” and condemned to decline.

Here’s a small sample of brassy headlines from leading media outlets over the last decade, trumpeting imminent collapse:

“The End of Europe”, “Europe Isn’t Working”, “Will Europe Ever Work?”, “What’s Wrong with Europe”, “Is Europe Dying?”, “The Decline and Fall of Europe”, “Why America Outpaces Europe”, and many more.

In the 1990s, The Economist dubbed Germany the new “sick man of Europe,” and other media doomsayers warned of a future of rising unemployment, crime, and taxes to “a level not seen since the Weimar Republic.” Yet now a prospering Germany has become a global player.

Yes, the EU is juggling a number of daunting situations, but that’s what superpowers do. They deal with one crisis after another, year after year, some of them domestic and others international.

A superpower by definition occupies a big corner of the world, in which messes happen and things have a tendency to fall apart.

That rationale, always applied to the United States of America, also has its place when analyzing the EU.
But does the EU really qualify for that lofty status? Emphatically yes. First, the EU is powered by one of the world’s great economic engines.

Even with the eurozone crisis, what I call the EU-Plus (EU28 + Norway and Switzerland) still has the largest economy in the world (post-Brexit, the UK would still be part of the EU-Plus, due to the deep integration of the UK and EU economies). These nations produce a quarter of the world’s GDP.

Indeed, according to World Bank figures, the EU-Plus economy is larger than that of the United States and India combined.

Read more: Post-Brexit: EU Still a Superpower - The Globalist

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