In the Hands Of The People

Why Europeans are thinking twice before committing themselves to closer union

Late in life, Jean Monnet, a Cognac salesman who went on to become the architect of the Common Market, mused about his dream for a United States of Europe. He thought back to his birthplace in this brandy-making town of Southwest France, where the grapes ripen slowly in the September sun, then mellow for decades in oaken barrels beneath the limestone distilleries. "The great thing about making cognac," he said, "is that it teaches you above all to wait. Man proposes, but time and God and the seasons have to be on your side."

Four decades have passed since Monnet's bold...

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