Paul Taylor at Eurozine:
The European Union is a half-way house of states and peoples, built on a cliff. It has never been and is unlikely in our lifetime to become a full, viable federation along the lines of the United States – which took more than a century to construct in its current form. Yet it is more than a mere international organization like the United Nations or NATO, since it has important elements of supranational governance. Rather, it is a unique and unstable edifice that former European Commission President Jacques Delors aptly called a ‘federation of nation states’.
With Britain’s vote in June 2016 to leave the EU, for the first time a wing has fallen off the house. Even before diplomats begin to disentangle the wreckage in exit negotiations due to start in 2017 and last two years, the surviving 27 tenants are arguing over whether to add additional floors, to all lean in the opposite direction, to try to strengthen the foundations, or to cut back the condominium’s central amenities to a minimum. So far, they have only been able to agree on minor repairs, not fundamental structural improvements.