Donald Trump is set to become president of the United States thanks to a democratically enabled rebellion against the established order. This is the unexpected backdrop to the commemoration of 25 years of the Maastricht Treaty. Without doubt, it forces the EU to take better account of the grievances of some of its citizens. But the EU has other vulnerabilities too, such as the erosion of democracy in some Eastern European countries and increasing corruption in Southern Europe.
Despite the problems facing the EU, there’s plenty of reason to celebrate the birth of the EU as a political and economic entity twenty-five years ago. And in Maastricht, no less. But the celebration should include a healthy dose of self-reflection on how to proceed from here. Because if we fail to reflect on the problems and the necessary solutions, the EU may not be around to celebrate the next twenty-five years – or even the next ten.