Many Americans, understandably heartened by the Arab Spring, seem to believe that democracy is on the march. And it is — backward.
It’s Europe where democracy is in headlong retreat. There, the leaders of the continent’s largest nations — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy — have asked their fellow European leaders to relinquish control of their national budgets to unelected European Union technocrats and judges. Any nation whose budget deficit exceeds 3 percent of its gross domestic product will face (as yet unspecified) financial sanctions, which can be suspended only by a supermajority of other E.U. member nations’ leaders.