Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age

Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age

Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age

Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age

Synopsis

A quiet revolution has been occurring in post-World War II Europe. A world power has emerged across the Atlantic that is recrafting the rules for how a modern society should provide economic security, environmental sustainability, and global stability. In Europe's Promise, Steven Hill explains Europe's bold new vision. For a decade Hill traveled widely to understand this uniquely European way of life. He shatters myths and shows how Europe's leadership manifests in five major areas: economic strength, with Europe now the world's wealthiest trading bloc, nearly as large as the U.S. and China combined; the best health care and other workfare supports for families and individuals; widespread use of renewable energy technologies and conservation; the world's most advanced democracies; and regional networks of trade, foreign aid, and investment that link one-third of the world to the European Union. Europe's Promise masterfully conveys how Europe has taken the lead in this make-or-break century challenged by a worldwide economic crisis and global warming.

Excerpt

On January 8, 2009, French president Nicolas Sarkozy mounted the speaker’s podium at a two-day summit in Paris that had been called to tackle the ongoing collapse of the global economic system. Occurring less than two weeks before the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, alarm bells had been ringing in the world’s capitals as the impacts of the economic crash from the previous fall ricocheted around the world. In all the world’s major and developing economies, unemployment was rising rapidly, the global banking system had frozen despite various interventions, the stock market had fallen off a cliff, and most nations had tilted into severe recession. The Paris summit was packed with other political heavyweights and heads of state, notably German chancellor Angela Merkel, former British prime minister Tony Blair, Nobel Prize–winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, World Trade Organization head Pascal Lamy, and European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet, among others. The stunned world leaders realized they were staring into the face of the worst economic calamity since “the one whose name must not be mentioned”—the Great Depression.

Unlike Sarkozy’s predecessor, the elderly Jacques Chirac, who had led European opposition to the Bush administration’s Iraq invasion and was scornfully labeled as a washed-up remnant of “old Europe,” this French president was viewed approvingly by many Americans as the type of European leader they could trust. In his 2007 campaign for the presidency, the conservative Sarkozy had gone out of his way to . . .

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