we speak about the European Union, the first thing we should ask is, whether the
EU is still a union?
With 17 euro-zone member-states, taking decisions on the common currency without the other 10; with core of few countries, which impose their views on the others, and with Member-states whose citizens are prevented from fully enjoying the four freedoms of movement.
Yes, there is yet a union, but this union exists much more in the Treaties than in practice. There are several other smaller unions within the EU, which undermine the unity. Hence, an emergence of a European superstate, as exemplified in the US is less probable than the break-up of the entity.
some extent the EU is already a superstate. Its economy, responsible for 20%
of the world's total GDP, is
the biggest in the world, surpassing even the US. Its population is
around 500 million people,
making it the third most populated ‘country’ in the world after China and India. Measuring the living
standards, Europe once again tops the chart.
Even in military terms, where usually it is being compared to a ‘maggot’, the EU has the second biggest budget (after the USA) and the second largest army (as combined from 27 member-states) after the Chinese. However, the lack of unity among the member countries prevents them to turn the EU into a world leader.
speculations of a possible break-up are exaggerated. The European Union
was created as a solution for the post-war crisis, and since than,
paradoxically, the Union is constantly in
crisis. Namely the crises have driven the changes. They forced the
European leaders to seek new paths for solving the problems, which led to a
much more integrated
and larger union.
The critics of the EU speak mostly of the huge contributions and sacrifices that the Europeans have to make for saving the Eurozone, respectively the whole integration. Nevertheless, they don’t ask the right questions. What they should really talk about, is how much we would pay, if we abolish the currency zone and the common European project. This is what the leaders should ask themselves in attempt to tackle the current crisis.
The EU is a superstate, always one step away of breaking-up. It is strong and at the same time, fragile. Of course there is a better way for Europe – it is called the path of solidarity, empathy and unity. To embark on it, we should realize that the Union does not consist of the old member-states only. The EU-27 will become EU-28 in July and if we are not able to understand each other in 23 languages, I don’t see how we will manage it in 24.