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Greece is in major financial trouble, which is seriously affecting all of Europe. Their
threat to leave the Eurozone, which could create another major recession, has made some
question whether the interconnectedness of the European Union is ultimately beneficial
to it’s members. So, is it worth it to be in the EU?
Well, the EU is an international group composed of 28 European member states. It originated
as an economic cooperative in the 1950s, between 6 nations: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg,
the Netherlands, and Germany. Back then, in the post-world-war-2 era, Europe saw a need
for a federation to promote peace and unity. They also wanted to present a collective front
against the threat of communism during the Cold War. In 1993, the European Union as we
now know it, emerged, and offered all EU citizens a common visa, a common legislative and judicial
body, and common voting rights. Later in the 90s, a common currency, the Euro, was also
established between many of the European Union Members.
Between 1989 and 2014, the European Union flourished. So much so that their combined
population ranks them 3rd in the world after China and India. The EU is currently one of
the top world economies, with almost $16 Trillion Dollars in GDP. And in 2012, the EU won the
Nobel Peace Prize for its transformation of Europe “from a continent of war to a continent
of peace.”
But the 2008 recession put a huge damper on the EU’s success. For the last decade or
so, Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal have faced unprecedented levels of unemployment
and public debt. Many of these nations are also in the midst of a “migrant crisis”
as record numbers of people cross the Mediterranean to enter Europe. The EU has been criticized
for not issuing enough aid to these periphery countries.
Also, Many feel that EU leaders concentrate policy-making efforts only on thriving economies,
like those of Germany and France. Indiscriminate austerity measures tend to harm those countries
with weaker economies. Plus, after most members adopted the Euro to replace their own currency,
nations are no longer able to temporarily inflate their worth through currency-manipulation.
On the other hand, stronger economies are expected to subsidize the welfare of weaker
countries, leading to resentments between member states. Several analysts have already
published articles lamenting the failure of the, quote, “European Union Experiment”.
So is the EU worth it?
Pew polls in Europe have revealed mixed feelings from the public towards the EU. On the one
hand, many people feel that the EU is inefficient and intrusive. But on the other hand, most
want to keep using the Euro, and believe that the EU does, in general, promote peace. Despite
setbacks from the 2008 recession, the European Union remains an influential presence in the
world. And experts note that, with the trend of globalization, international unions of
this nature are both necessary and inevitable for the world’s future.
Although ties with the EU have been increasing since the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine
is not a member state. To learn about the violent riots that broke out in Kiev after
a deal fell through take a look at this amazing story on This Happened Here. Thanks for watching
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Will The European Union Fall Apart?

2285 Folder Collection
鄭小鬼 published on March 3, 2016    鄭小鬼 translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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