Post-1945 attempts to transform “Europe” from a geographical to a political designation have resulted in a baroque accretion of bureaucracies, but no answer to Henry Kissinger’s reported question: “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?”

The European Union is the world’s second-largest economic entity, with member nations’ combined gross domestic products ($15.3 trillion) larger than that of China ($14.7 trillion), and dwarfing Russia’s ($1.5 trillion), which is less than Italy’s ($1.9 trillion). Geopolitically, however, it is much less than the sum of its 27 parts, as the Ukraine crisis is demonstrating.

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