Roger Cohen asks, "Has Europe become a sideshow?"
What could French Prime Minister Villepin mean when he says, "globalization cannot be our destiny"? Tired, unambitious, relaxed, post-modern, Europe is in trouble. If you don’t get it, he notes, compare it to India, which is dynamic, young, fluid, and willing.
He writes from Venice, and concludes with a description of once all-conquering Venice as it surrendered to Napoleon: "The fact of the matter was that Venice was utterly demoralized. It was so long since she had been obliged to make a serious military effort that she had lost the will that makes such efforts possible. Peace, the pursuit of pleasure, the love of luxury, the whole spirit of dolce far niente has sapped her strength. She was old and tired; she was also spoilt."
also reports on the upcoming Brussells meeting Thursday and Friday. It is a pessimistic report: "it may be hard to prevent an impression that the EU is unravelling," and "European leaders with a chance to show that the EU still works - but all the signs are that they will fail."
Update: Robert Samuelson also thinks that Europe is finished. Europe is "going out of business" because of a larger reality than the question about the EU constitution: "Unless Europe reverses two trends -- low birthrates and meager economic growth -- it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power. Actually, that future has already arrived."