With the enactment of the Lisbon treaty late last year, some European leaders allowed themselves to dream of a new world order – one in which the European Union was finally recognised as a global superpower, to rank alongside the US and China.
In the past few weeks, Europe has certainly got the world’s attention – but not in the way that it had hoped. Rather than admiring the EU for its dynamism and power, the rest of the world is watching the unfolding economic crisis in Europe with fascination and horror. Observing the struggle to save the euro from Washington or Beijing is a bit like watching a car crash on the other side of the road. It is bad enough being a spectator – but there is the added fear that you will be hit by flying debris. Read more