A rethink for Europe
By reducing its ambitions, EU may save itself - but lose a key role
In the midst of the near financial ruin in Greece and Italy, French President Nicholas Sarkozy wondered last week whether the whole idea of one Europe needed a rethink. What he had in mind, first and foremost, was the euro and whether any country should still be admitted into the eurozone. But there has long been more to the European Union than currency; it was never only about the money. From its beginnings in the late 1950s, the EU has been a powerful promoter of stability and democracy in the region and the world. America simply has no monopoly on that effort. But now, as the EU turns inward in a bid to save the economies of originators, that role will - like the Euro itself - also lose its currency.