The European currency has come under criticism. Troubled economies are threatening the stability of the rest of the Euro zone. Do we want more Europe - or less of it?
Jean Monnet was not only a visionary, he was also a realist: Achieving a true integration would take many sacrifices – and quite a bit of courage.
Germany's history with inflation is frequently cited as a reason behind Angela Merkel's rationale in the sovereign debt crisis. Yet the real issue lies in the widespread uncertainty about all of the conditions under discussion.
Greece, Ireland, now Italy - the Eurozone is sliding deeper into an existential crisis. But while governments are debating over rescue packages, they do little to address the underlying problems. The consequences: A huge burden to tax payers, a free pass for private investors and continued debt scares.
The longing is great. But we cannot return to the Deutschmark. The political unification of Europe must now be followed by an economic unification. We must seize the opportunity and push ahead.
You cannot live above your means without paying the bill. Portugal, Spain and other countries have to institute radical reforms to get their finances under control. But it is unrealistic to expect more than lukewarm compromise.
Deep chasms run through the Eurozone, the future of the Euro currency seems uncertain at times. But the consequence of economic turmoil must not be the break-up of the common currency. This is the time when Europe's nations must draw closer together to debate and defend their common future.