The European Union, for all its ambition and inclusivity, is a function of relations between its most important members: France and Germany. It was an experiment meant to test the limits of their animosity. If France and Germany were bound together in such a way that prosperity for one meant prosperity for the other, then perhaps they would not rip the Continent apart again as they had in World War I and World War II. It was a noble experiment, and for a long time it worked. So effective were the European Union and its precursor institutions that the era in which they were formed is often called the Long Peace – a term that ignores the dissolution of Yugoslavia but largely captures the essence of the period.
But can the EU continue to keep the peace? If the bloc reflects the ways in which France and Germany tried to pursue certain national interests, what happens when French and German strategies change? Already there are signs that EU institutions – and therefore