Demonstrating against Facebook in Brussels, Belgium, May 2018
Frances Lenoir / Reuters

That Europe’s best days are over has become a common refrain. Journalists, analysts, and even world leaders observe that “the Continent’s grand unity project is failing, and its global influence is fading”; lament “the coming erosion of the European Union”; and explain “why Europe no longer matters.”

Such pessimism can hardly come as a surprise. Crises loom well beyond the European horizon. China has arisen as a major economic power. Russia is asserting its will across the globe. Citizens of democratic countries have responded to the lure of economic populism. And with the United States in retreat from

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