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The run-up to next month's European Parliament election has been characterized by a stifling tension between pro- and anti-Europeans.Above all, the European Union needs to gain greater democratic legitimacy if it is to counter the growing sentiment that the European project benefits only Europe's elite.That should come as no surprise: Just 31 percent of Europeans say they have confidence in the EU, down sharply from 52 percent in 2007, while the share of those with a negative view of the EU has almost doubled, from 15 percent to 28 percent, during this period.Faced with this, Europe should move toward what might be called "Erasmusization," building on the success of the European Union's Erasmus scholarships.To the extent that it has emerged as a potent force among younger Europeans, it is also Europe's best chance for a future of freedom and prosperity.However, if the upcoming election deepens the fissure between pro- and anti-European forces, popular disaffection with Europe will continue to metastasize, foreclosing a new golden age in which Europe – a century after World War I – remains the world's best place to grow up, work, and live.
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