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The European Union is currently facing challenges more severe than even the debt crisis that threatened to sink the eurozone earlier this decade.Could these tensions finally tear the EU apart?The EU has not proved that it is up to the task of confronting any of these issues, even trade (the one policy domain that fits fully within the EU's jurisdiction).This is an area where the EU should have considerable agenda-setting power.Of course, such a deal would raise challenges for the EU. Some businesses, especially in the agriculture sector, currently enjoy higher levels of protection; eliminating tariffs would thus alter the alignment of domestic interests in the EU (and in the U.S.).At those moments, the EU looks more like the Habsburg Empire – a complex vessel of nationalities where satirists joked that the situation was desperate but not serious.
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