Europe is surrounded by a ring of instability. With conflicts festering from Ukraine to Iraq to Libya, the perennially elusive question is what Europe stands for. How do its values, interests, and ambitions fit into an increasingly unruly world? The nomination of the new European foreign policy chief last weekend looks like yet another missed opportunity to provide an answer.
Against all of the defeatists united in their resignation to retreat before Putin, this European thinker has stepped up to the struggle for the deliverance of the new Ukraine. This man follows in the great tradition of fighters for freedom -- the Resistance to the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War, the Prague Spring, and the dissidence in the face of Soviet oppression and lies, among many others.
The paradox of this historical moment is that we see across the world -- in Ukraine, Egypt, Thailand, Turkey -- that elections in and of themselves are not the standard of legitimacy. Only strong institutions can sustain democracy. But institutions alone without democratic legitimacy conferred upon them, as we see in the European Union, are also not sustainable.