The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

EU prosperity at stake in crisis disunity

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Paul Taylor Great Debate-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The global financial crisis has been a stark reality check for the European Union, exposing divergences over economic policy and highlighting the European Commission's growing difficulty in enforcing common rules.

The European response to the turmoil shows that most real power still resides with member states, not in Brussels. Even after 50 years of integration, governments instinctively reach for national solutions at the risk of harming EU partners.

The 27 EU leaders, especially the big three of Germany, France and Britain, need to take a deep breath before next week's summit and measure how much damage they could inflict on future prosperity and on Europe's credibility in the world if they continue down this path.

The EU united briefly in October behind a plan to avert a meltdown of the financial system and a call for a global summit to reform financial supervision, incorporating the emerging economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

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