There has to be plenty more to be said for a union which brings together more than half a billion people in the world's largest common market, with the world's highest average income.
It is hard to see how individual European countries would have the clout to negotiate a historic trade deal with the U.S. like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - or enact as potentially transformational as the "capital markets union" (CMU) expected to be in place by 2019.
Economically, the European nations may not be delivering the rapid growth seen in China - but they are comparatively more stable.
And after a few difficult years of stagnation, things look on the up again.
Economic growth in the euro zone is expected to start gently accelerating again in the last quarter of 2015, with growth for 1.6 percent for the year as a whole, according to forecasts by the three economic research institutes Ifo (Munich), Insee (Paris) and Istat (Rome). This has been driven by domestic demand, suggesting that the people of the euro zone are more comfortable spending again after the turmoil of the credit crisis.
"I think it is a great place to live and I also do actually believe that the social models we have, although they maybe go to the extreme, but I also think that that also gives us a better society than I've seen in a lot of other places in the world," Nils Andersen, chief executive of shipping giant Maersk Group, told CNBC.