Europe needs to go back to its political roots, and these roots remain predominantly national. The challenge of improving the robustness of the euro area, in the wake of the crisis, cannot overturn this basic political reality. Forcing the pace on fiscal union, directly or through a mutually-supported banking union, would outrun popular support for the European project. For the foreseeable future, therefore, centralisation and fiscal union do not represent a viable way ahead for strengthening the euro area. As this becomes clear, the present tactic of 'muddling through' will simply become a muddle. These were among the tough messages of Ashoka Mody (Visiting Professor, Princeton; formerly IMF), in his seminar on EMU for the Political Economy of Financial Markets Programme.