The political story behind the month of negotiations on Greek debt remains to be told. The motivations and goals of the key players are not fully known, though media statements have been used as ammunition for all sides. Various options have been floated, and episodes have been interpreted through a prism of collective action (“federalism”) or instructive pain. If I may hazard a guess, I think we will see that the overriding effort was to reduce the possibility of contagion to other countries within the Eurozone rather than promote some notion of a European Project. In this, the strategy of “constructive ambiguity” has succeeded for now.
The ideas amongst leading players have also been revealed. Despite globalisation, the reactionary policy of Europe as an autarkic continent, insulated from the wider world, has held sway. This viewpoint channels solutions in a 'European direction', raising flags like a Eurozone monetary fund, only for the idea to founder under legal constraints and political realities. The elites were unable to push forward their proposals because it was unpalatable to any of their taxpayers. Elite solidarity fell before taxpayer reluctance and the fear of electoral punishment.
The limits of the European Union follow the contours of the taxpayer's acceptance of taxes.