Is the European Union Worth It Or Should We End It?

Do you think the European Union is worth it? 

Or will we have to end it? Many people feel disconnected from the EU, while others praise his successes. All things considered, is its existence a good thing or a bad thing for Europeans?  Since it looks like the UK is leaving the EU, we will consider that he is no longer part of the club.

The European Union, by combining its 27 member countries, has a population of around 450 million people making it the third most populous "territory" in the world. It is second in the world GDP ranking, and has the largest single market in the world. But originally, the creation of the European Union had only one goal: the peace. Europeans are very good at war. so they were involved in bloody conflicts for most of their history. The century-long rivalry between France and Germany has cost millions of lives, and left such a mark that the Germans gave it a name: "Erbfaindschaft" - hatred passed on from generation to generation .

After World War II, Europeans Decided They Wanted Lasting Peace that is not based on a balance of military power. Instead, the economies, politicians and people of Europe should become so closely interconnected that war would become both impracticable and unthinkable. This plan worked: between EU members, we had more than 70 years of peace.

Peace is good, but what are the successes and the problems of the European Union?

 EU citizens today enjoy many individual freedoms. EU treaties and regulations guarantee easy travel, cheap telecommunications, a wide variety of goods and services, as well as solid health and safety standards. European institutions are not afraid to fight companies like Microsoft, Apple or Facebook about fair competition, tax evasion or data protection. Thanks to EU scientific programs, European countries have become a collaborative engine which serves as a hub for science around the world. Freedom of movement and the right to work anywhere facilitate grant applications and the creation of teams of international experts with the best equipment.

 Little by little, the EU has become the world leader in terms of the number of researchers, and produces more than 25% of the world's research with only 5% of its population. But many citizens are suspicious of the EU. Brussels seems distant, opaque, technocratic, and difficult to understand. It is not helped by the fact that the EU is terrible in communication and in explaining what it really does. This disconnection has also led to a decrease in voting participation over the decades. More transparency and accountability are needed more than ever if the European institutions want the confidence of their citizens.

 For the moment the EU is still shaken by the 2015 refugee crisis Some countries have received far more asylum seekers than others, while border countries feel overwhelmed and left behind. Other countries are shocked by mass immigration from an unregulated departure and close their borders, effectively cutting the longest route to Europe The wealth and freedom of Europe make it an attractive destination, and it’s unlikely to change. The population is divided on how to react to this, Some say that Europe has let in too many immigrants with a different culture, without strictly requesting their integration, while others respond that immigration is not the problem but that racism and discrimination against immigrants prevent integration.

To find a happy medium between helping refugees, deporting illegal immigrants, and effectively integrate those who remain, remains one of the most difficult and controversial challenges in the Union. Besides immigration, many challenges remain, such as defense. Traditionally, European countries have relied heavily on protecting the United States through NATO. But in the current political climate, Europe must ask itself if it really wants to depend on the United States for its security. If combined today, the military forces of EU members could form an effective defense force and be the third largest army in the world. It could save a lot of money, protect European borders, and improve cross-cultural understanding with soldiers from 27 different countries serving a common purpose.

What about currency?

 Well ... it's complicated. The EU has created the largest single market in the world. Inside, you can trade without borders or customs. The countries that have entered have had a significant increase in their economies, Even between neighbors, trade increased up to 500% and there has been a constant creation of new jobs. Research has suggested that most new EU members have obtained GDP on average 12% higher than if they had stayed outside. And for regions with a weaker economy and infrastructure, the European institutions donate several billion euros each year, promoting investment, infrastructure and social development.

On the other hand, the EU is trying to bring together countries with very different economies and labor, tax and social security laws. The cost of an hour of work in an EU country varies from 4 euros an hour to 40 euros an hour. Some countries have big industries and big exports, while others focus on services, tourism or natural resources. In addition, the Euro is the common currency of some, but not all, of these countries. As the Greek crisis shows, this can be the recipe for disaster. You cannot unite radically different economies under one currency leaving their economic policies separate.

Should all the countries of the European Union unify under the same currency? 

Should the weakest links be expelled from the euro, or should countries be forced to adopt a common policy on taxes, health services and social security? This is a question that has been asked for years and is not ready to be answered.

Is the European Union worth it? 

This is our answer. (attention, opinion!) The EU has many faults and still requires work. But it is fair to say that the European Union makes Europeans powerful in the world. Put together, we are leaders in science, are one of the strongest economic powers, and could have one of the most powerful armies in the world. But more important than that, the EU gives us peace, security and a sense of shared identity. and something we all want in these troubled times, stability.

If we want to protect the values ​​we are so proud of, a strong European Union and the best way to be sure that our voice is heard around the world. Alone as small states, we will not be able to compete in a world of changing superpowers. What do you think of the European Union and its future? In recent years, political discussions have become poisoned, with sad consequences for the real world. Let's not do this. If you don't agree with this post, you are not our enemy, you only have a different opinion and that's fine. After all we are all in the same boat, so let's have a factual discussion about our future.

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