Because this time it's different. Because the crisis showed us that a problem in Greece can shake a whole continent. Because the Italian spread has been felt in Berlin and Paris. Because -- whether we like it or not -- Italy alone is too fragile to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Today -- shortly before the European elections -- we all can be a little relieved, take an interim balance and say: Yes, for now the efforts on both sides have been worth it. Europe, its states and the Euro did not prostrate.
The political risks of the EU are currently understated by financial integration measures. 2014 is likely the year of EU political fragmentation and will be evidenced in the European Parliament elections to some degree, and will increase as the debate over the future of EU policy broadens.
What has evolved over the last 20 or so years is a natural divergence between the fundamentally weaker and stronger economies, particularly since the onset of the global financial crisis five years ago.
As the "Just Say No" approach that forced a fruitless U.S. government shutdown goes global, political leaders and voters in America, Europe and elsewhere must resolve to make 2014 a year to say yes to action.