Yes the EU is fraught with contradictions and conflicts. In the sense that the most rational economic devices are not and most likely will not be adopted because of the unindesirable blow back or consequences they may trigger. For instance it might make most sense for the euro to be dismantled or at least peripheral countries such as Greece and Portugal to be omitted from the currency, however this would damage even the more fiscally responsible nations such as Germany. Its banks are heavily exposed to debt issued by peripheral countries, and it would significantly impact the intra-regional trade flows which would hurt German GDP.
Secondly, it would make a lot of sense to have a fiscal union to complement the monetary union and give the EU more credibility and robustness, but its far too difficult political to be enacted.
In terms of other continents the concern is that the European debt crisis may trigger a bout of nationalism perhaps harming trade relations between European countries and non-European countries.
Additionally, the troubles of the EU could be a warning to other regions such as South East Asian nations (ex China and Japan) where so-called Asian tiger economies have considered such an economic union.