In “Die Welt von Gestern” (“The World of Yesterday”)published in 1942, Austrian writer Stefan Zweig writes of his continent in the years before World War II, “I felt that Europe, in its state of derangement, had passed its own death sentence.” Today – under the weight of a sense of boredom with its identity and politicians seemingly intent on its undoing – Europe could soon meet its fate. All the while, its leaders blame America.

“Global events in the Taiwan Strait, in the Middle East, in Ukraine are all results of American hesitance to actually lead,” the former North Atlantic Treaty secretary-general, Anders Rasmussen, tells a parley at Washington. Lithuania’s Foreign Affairs Committee head, Žygimantas Pavilionis, seems to agree. “It’s painful, but you have to spend 80 percent of your energy waking up Washington to be Washington.”

Among some of America’s allies exists a tacit narrative that European insecurity is rooted in American policy. On the heels of the Iowa caucuses, too, it has emerged that the greatest risk to Europe is neither Russia nor Communist China nor, indeed, unbridled migration, but the prospect of another Trump presidency — that a would-be President Trump might pivot away from the continent. And, indeed, he might.

The matter of the Biden Administration’s foreign policy failings, too, is no stranger to this column. Yet it is ironic that Europe should berate America on matters of security given its own indolence. That but a handful of nations — most from Eastern Europe and the Baltics — prioritize defense spending so as to meet NATO’s two percent target is one thing. That Europe willfully opens the door to likely hostile elements is another.

The latest example is Germany. It approved last week what is now among Europe’s most liberal immigration policies. Under the revised law, the pathway to citizenship has been reduced to five years from a previous eight — even three in “exceptional circumstances.” What constitutes such circumstance is as yet unclear. The right to dual citizenship, once extended only to other European nationals, has also been flung open.