EURO CRISIS: THE FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Essay Development Plan
The future of the European Union is in peril. There exists a magnanimous rift between debtor and creditor countries as demonstrated by the crisis in Greece. For the union to survive, it requires to overhaul its recent policies (McNamara, 2011). This action will not only spur economic growth in all the countries in the region but will also save the union’s existence.
The research began with a study of the European Union, its structure and principles. Two principal sources were used; these were articles by McNamara and Soros. These articles discussed the implication of the financial crisis of 2008-2010 on the European Union. McNamara and Soros also identified the problems plaguing the union as well as suggested some solutions to the current problems.
Each article was read individually and the important points noted down to facilitate ease of reference. From the reference materials, the essay was developed in the following parts: the introduction, which offered the history of the European Union and explained why it was formed along with its objectives. The current financial crisis was then discussed which encompassed the matter of potential exits. This section also points out the rift between the creditor and debtor nations. Finally, possible remedies and alternatives were suggested.
However, the bulk of the provided sources focused on the Eurozone’s economic agenda. The word length also prevented a wholesome discussion of other matters such as the EU states’ social policies, demographic changes and emerging issues such as Brexit. Academic literature highlights that the future of the EU will be dependent on national perspectives and values. Schrauwen expounds on increasingly nationalistic perspectives within the EU’s member states (Schrauwen, n.d.). The rise of Far-Right nationalism in Europe has been at odds with the EU’s immigration and citizenship policies.
The Observer Editorial presents an interesting perspective to the Eurozone and refugee crises on the EU’s future. The editorial argues that the very existence of a refugee crisis is a result of a nonexistent pan-European response to the migrations. There is a clear need for collectively funded refugee centers and immigration quotas for all EU states. However, most states have evaded this. For instance, the Hungarians have erected fences while other states have instituted border checks in response to the refugee flood (The Guardian Editorial, 2015). This contrasts to the EU’s established policies on free movements among member states.
It would also be important to discuss the confluence of the Eurozone crises and the refugee issue. It should be noted that Italy and Greece have been perhaps the worst affected by the refugee crisis, as they are entry points into Europe. Their fiscal issues within the Eurozone compound this situation. This state of affairs has served to deepen divergence within the EU member states, contributing to farther nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment within the worst affected nations. This is best exemplified by the divergent perspectives between the richer nations such as France and Germany and the poorer states such as Poland and Hungary. The richer states have encouraged free immigration, while Eastern Europe has resisted these suggestions.
Wolff pens another perspective on the EU’s future. The author explains Germany’s demographic position, and its need for increased immigration of skilled labour. It is expected that such immigration would provide great additions to Germany’s labour markets, and the economy at large just as the Huguenot’s immigrations improved Prussian industry in the 17th and 18th centuries (Hornung, 2014). However, such changes would make it much more difficult for other Euro area citizens to migrate and find work in Germany. Such immigration is likely to negatively affect industrializing EU members in the Balkans and other regions that have enjoyed German industrial investments, which have been a result of labour shortages in Germany (Wolff, 2015).
Even with the extensive research that went into the writing of this paper, there are several other factors yet to be considered due to the essay word limit. Undeniably, the future of the union largely depends on the decision Germany makes, to pull out of the union or to stay and offer leadership in a bid to improve the financial sustainability of the Eurozone (Soros, 2012). It is clear that further political integration offers the best answer to the Eurozone’s current and emerging problems. However, this may also result in further nationalistic surges, damaging the EU’s very existence.
The Guardian Editorial, O. (2015). The Observer view on the future of the EU | Observer editorial. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/06/observer-view-migrant-refugee-crisis-future-of-eu [Accessed 24 Dec. 2015].
Hornung, E. (2014). Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia †. American Economic Review, 104(1), pp.84-122.
McNamara, K. (2011). Can the Eurozone Be Saved?. [online] Foreign Affairs. Available at: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2011-04-07/can-eurozone-be-saved [Accessed 24 Dec. 2015].
Schrauwen, A. (n.d.). The Future of EU Citizenship: Corrosion of National Citizenship?. SSRN Electronic Journal.
Soros, G. (2012). The Tragedy of the European Union and How to Resolve It. [online] The New York Review of Books. Available at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/sep/27/tragedy-european-union-and-how-resolve-it/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2015].
Wolff, G. (2015). Germany’s handling of immigration will shape the future of Europe. [online] Bruegel.org. Available at: http://bruegel.org/2015/09/germanys-handling-of-immigration-will-shape-the-future-of-europe/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2015].