Reality of the American Challenge
In 1967 Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber gathered the views of a dozen or so European experts and published The American Challenge. The message was a stern warning to Europeans that they were in danger of being transformed into satellites of the United States, which then held a commanding lead in information technology.
One of those experts was Michel Albert, who has taken a critical second look at the book three decades later. His first observation is that we have not witnessed the flight of American investments from Europe, and that the countries of the old continent have pulled themselves up to the same level of development as the United States. On the other hand, he emphasizes that Europe has not understood how to cope with the social challenge posed by the post-industrial revolution, in spite of its exemplary social aspirations. In Albert's analysis this defect is due to the lack of a common industrial, economic and social policy.
The American Challenge has receded, therefore, and the real challenge for Europe, beyond the single market and common currency, is to construct a real federal union.