While critics say that the European Union has stumbled from crisis to crisis for most of its existence, its defenders counter that crises have made it both stronger and more necessary over time. As the bloc’s complex history and current challenges show, both claims are true.Niels Thygesen is an economist and an emeritus professor at the University of Copenhagen. He has spent more than a half-century observing and participating in the European integration process. As a member of the Delors Committee, he helped established the roadmap to Economic and Monetary Union, or EMU. This culminated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.