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Leonid Bershidsky

The EU Proves It's Here to Stay

A united Europe survives its greatest existential threats.
This too shall pass.

This too shall pass.

Photographer: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

In recent years, there hasn't been much to like about the European Union, with its low growth, high unemployment, political squabbles, xenophobia, stifling bureaucracy and constant threats of a breakup. But 2015 may have been the year the EU pulled through the worst of its troubles: It has now been sufficiently stress-tested to survive anything.

There were three types of trials: the viability of the euro zone, the survival of Schengen borderless travel area and the tension between member countries' domestic politics and the union's values. In each case, the edifice creaked but remained standing. Despite the shocks, the European economy is more or less back to pre-crisis levels, with employment rising and growth returning.