In my view, the EU would be a better place, if the plethora of its policies were not defined as an outcome of the everlasting conflicts between a humanitarian but unrealistic France and a productive but austere Germany, but if they were rather set by a pragmatist Britain. This outcome might as well be the best choice possible for Europe's -and Britain's- future.
Although the prestigious peak is widely revered as an area of outstanding beauty, it is not actually protected with a conservation strategy consistent accross all three parent countries. In France, Mont Blanc was designated a 'site classé' in 1951, preventing development, camping and also supervises amenities.
invoking the fate of the Jews under Nazi rule is not only inappropriate - it is inflammatory and insulting to the victims. Raising the spectre of 'anti-semitism' will not help anyone cope with the threat posed by Jihadists and extreme Islamists. We (all) face a specific menace that demands specific counter-measures.
It looks as if 2015 could turn out to be Europe's Year of the Insurgents... More than at any time since the end of the Cold War, Europe needs clear, determined leaders who can calm voters' anger and offer reassurance that better times are coming, especially for those who have been hardest hit by the age of austerity. Anger, fear and intolerance of minorities are a highly dangerous mix - we have seen before where they can lead when populist politicians fan the flames. The coming year will be a test that Europe must not fail.