The strains of this democratic deficit, coupled with collapsing economies, have produced growing feuds between eurozone member states that evoke bad memories for Europeans. Germans are dictating social policy to smaller countries, the French are waxing eloquent about the virtues of French industry, and fear of outsiders is prompting disturbing talk about restricted immigration.
Consequently, the good of the euro is being swallowed by the insanity of preserving the single currency. It is now virtually impossible to conceive of a eurozone breakup without a breakup of the E.U. as well, and a free trade, free movement, freedom-loving Europe is a mere relic of last decade.
And despite the sacrifices made thus far, the eurozone is still disintegrating. Facing a budget shortfall of more than €1 trillion over the next 18 months, and with traders predicting further increases in bond prices and depreciation of the single currency, European leaders will find it increasingly difficult to ignore the signals that the system is unsustainable.
If the ECB is truly going to do whatever it takes to save the euro, it appears as though it will be forced to sacrifice the very things the E.U. was created to foster. Democracy, good will between nations, and economic efficiency are all evaporating as the costs of preserving the currency rise.
The costs of a single currency area are rising rapidly. Europeans need to ask themselves if they want to continue footing the bill.
Daniel Hanson is a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute. His research focuses on sovereign wealth management, trade policy, the euro crisis, and other topics of international economic interest.