History and ordinary prudence dictated that the union might be broad and shallow (a free-trade area) or else narrow and deep (an evolving political union, confined to countries willing to be led there.
Of the two, I always believed that the first was better.
But the architects did not even have the brains to choose the second. They recognized no limits to their ambitions.
They set about creating a union that was both broad and deep. A federal constitution, a parliament, a powerful central executive, one central bank, one currency - all with no binding sense of European identity.
As for scale, well, the bigger the better. Today Greece, tomorrow Turkey. And why stop there? Madness.
Clive Crook, a senior editor of The Atlantic, a columnist for National Journal, and a commentator for the Financial Times. He worked at The Economist for nearly 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor.
The Atlantic Journal May 13, 2010