The Incredible Shrinking Europe

PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION: MAY WONG FOR TIME; FLAG: IMAGESOURCE / GETTY

Correction Appended: March 9, 2010

It was supposed to be the moment Europe grew muscles. Last fall, after a decade of work to simplify policymaking and make the European Union more efficient at home and stronger abroad, the last few holdouts signed a 1,000-page document known as the Lisbon Treaty. In November, the E.U.'s first real President and Foreign Minister were chosen. Europhiles dusted off their familiar dream: of a newly emboldened world power stepping up to calm trouble spots, using aid and persuasion where it could, but prepared to send in troops when it...

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