Four great crises around Europe's fringes threaten to engulf the European Union, potentially setting the ambitious post-war unification project back by decades.The post WWII European experiment with peace has, in fits and starts, been a success. It has been a possibility by two things; a desire of the parliamentary democracies of Europe to work around the table vice the trench line, and the moderating influence of the USA on the continent.
The EU's unity, solidarity and international standing are at risk from Greece's debt, Russia's role in Ukraine, Britain's attempt to change its relationship with the bloc, and Mediterranean migration.
Rem Korteweg of the Centre for European Reform compares the interlocking crises to the four horsemen of the apocalypse in the New Testament Book of Revelation: harbingers of a "day of judgment" representing conquest, war, famine and death.
"The EU's leaders will find it hard to tame these four horsemen," the Dutch thinker wrote in an essay. "If a European answer cannot be found, the horsemen will continue to promote chaos, instability and mutual recrimination within the EU."
With both of those foundations thinning, one has to worry about regression to the mean.