The rise of NATO and the European Union has made the sheer size of a country ever less important for warfare or trade. So, states increasingly exist in Europe today less as part of a great game to accumulate the most military-industrial might to conquer other states, but mostly as affirmations of nationhood and as a means to redistribute wealth, both to interests and to the pockets of the leaders of interests.
"Europe as a whole may be busy papering over its differences, burying cultural disparities and centuries of feuding. But not Belgium. It seems headed the other way."