Book review: Jonathan Holslag, The Power of Paradise

Europe a paradise? When in 2004 American author Jeremy Rifkin wrote his book “The European Dream” this was a bold statement, but also a statement that did not appear that far-fetched. Why wouldn’t the European Union, with its social market economy and ‘soft power’, become a model for the 21st century world? Ten years later this kind of optimism about Europe’s future is rare to say the least. “The power of paradise” [“De kracht van het paradijs” in Dutch], the title of the recent book of Flemish Professor Jonathan Holslag, is therefore remarkable. Does Holslag go against the dominant Eurosceptic flow? Yes and no. Yes, because “The power of paradise” is a pro-European book in which Hoslag encourages EU Member States to integrate further. No, because Holslag mercilessly exposes Europe’s European economic, political and military decline. Continue reading [in Dutch]…

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