Is the European Union the “sick man of Europe”?
This formulation represents an intriguing twist on historical references to the Ottoman Empire as the “sick man of Europe.”
Eurozine has published a series of articles entitled “Europe Talks to Europe” and a public debate on the theme of the possible disintegration of the European Union, using the image of the “sick man of Europe.”
Eurozine introduces the public debate by describing the presentation of one of the speakers, Martin Simecka: “Introducing himself as an ‘expert on disintegration’, Slovak writer and journalist Martin Simecka recalled how shortly after 1989, seeing Slovak nationalists in Bratislava, he had the intimation that Czechoslovakia would collapse. Now he has the same forebodings about Europe. You can see this in the language with which Europe is being discussed, he said. When a declaredly Europhile outlet like EUobserver adopts Stalinist vocabulary to describe the institutions of the EU, you know the mood is bad (Simecka was referring to the use of the word ‘troika’ to denote the trio of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund on their recent visit to Lisbon).”
Students in European and Mediterranean history courses, including HIST 423 French Revolution and Napoleon and HIST 458 Mediterranean World, 1450-1750, at Northern Illinois University may be interested in this issue.