CAT Paragraph Summary Question 19

Question 19:

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

As Soviet power declined, the world became to some extent multipolar, and Europe strove to define an independent identity. What a journey Europe has undertaken to reach this point. It had in every century changed its internal structure and invented new ways of thinking about the nature of international order. Now at the culmination of an era, Europe, in order to participate in it, felt obliged to set aside the political mechanisms through which it had conducted its affairs for three and a half centuries. Impelled also by the desire to cushion the emergent unification of Germany, the new European Union established a common currency in 2002 and a formal political structure in 2004. It proclaimed a Europe united, whole, and free, adjusting its differences by peaceful mechanisms.

  1. Europe has consistently changed its internal structure to successfully adapt to the changing world order.
  2. Europe has consistently changed in keeping with the changing world order and that has culminated in a united Europe.
  3. The establishment of a formal political structure in Europe was hastened by the unification of Germany and the emergence of a multipolar world.
  4. Europe has chosen to lower political and economic heterogeneity, in order to adapt itself to an emerging multi-polar world.
Option: 4

This is a slightly difficult question. The passage talks about what modern Europe has done in order to adapt to changing international order. There are two things it has done: establish a common currency, and a formal political structure, adjusting its internal differences by peaceful mechanisms. 1 looks good, but does the passage say that “Europe has consistently done this”? Maybe. But what it misses here is the essence. Europe has changed its structure, but the focus of the passage is on “what it has done of late”. For this reason, 4 wins. By choosing a common currency it has tried to lower economic heterogeneity, and by establishing European Union it has tried to lower political heterogeneity. Thus 4 captures the essence, while 1, 2 and 3 walk on the periphery.

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