Yes, in fact they can, and this has happened in Europe. One problem with C&P is the "offline PIN" mode which doesn't exchange data with the bank. In the UK, at least, the consumer is liable for any fraud with a C&P card as it is assumed that if the PIN was entered correctly it was by the cardholder. In the US, all the card issuers assume liability for fraud, no matter what, so there is less incentive to require a PIN.
The article you linked to is informative, but as the US transitions to EMV, it will become harder for thieves to use magstripe cards.
As I noted earlier, the biggest benefit of EMV, with or without PIN, is that merchants and payment processors aren't holding on to vast quantities of card numbers, and card skimming becomes far more difficult.