if Britain does leave, the European Union can also blame its own handling of the crises of the past decade -- the tribulations of the euro, the debt standoff with Greece and a flawed approach to migration. Each time, the bloc rammed through ugly, short-term fixes that only inflamed the angry nationalism now spreading across the Continent and Britain.

The result was almost a decade of ad hoc crisis management that even many admirers agree has left the European Union badly wounded and its reputation badly damaged. Idealism has given way to disillusionment. The bloc's elite technocrats are often perceived as out of touch, while European institutions are not fully equipped to address problems like unemployment and economic stagnation. Political solidarity is dissolving into regional divisions of east and west, north and south....

many experts agree that regardless of how the British vote, politics across Europe must change. The structure of the euro currency zone is still considered fragile. The bloc's German-dominated economic policy has meant nearly a decade lost in much of debt-ridden southern Europe, which is still struggling to recover from its economic crisis.

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