After two world wars that devastated #Europe, the creation of the European Union brought peace – one that has lasted for over 70 years – to a continent that has only known war. However, after decades of prosperity and belief in a common project, the EU’s motto of “United in diversity” seems more under threat than ever.
The European Union's crisis
Many of the problems the European Union is facing are “tangible” or “measurable." Issues such as the economic crisis, the war at its borders, the refugee crisis or Brexit are among some of the big problems the European Union is dealing with lately. Nevertheless, these are not the real problems behind the crisis, they are only the visible effects of a more complicated existential crisis the EU is struggling with.
Since its birth shortly after the Second World War, the member states of the growing European Union have understood that power and prosperity came from acting united. Times change and so do the problems, but none of the problems the European Union is facing nowadays are new. There have been crises, there have been wars, and there have definitely been refugee problems too. What has really changed is the attitude when facing these problems.
Back to its origins
The European Union has always acted under the same values and beliefs, putting the interests of the collective above the national interests. The incapability of the EU to face some of the problems above mentioned come from the loss of Europe’s idea that the differences among the countries were a strength, not a weakness. In the moment the member states have forgotten that, Nationalism and Independentism have found their way – through the rise of populism – eroding the EU’s capability to act united to the new challenges it is facing.
Many member states don’t see it as part of the solution anymore, but they see it a part of the problem. Even those member states that still believe in the European Union have never had it harder to find common ground in between each other. The diversity and differences -- which always seemed like something positive -- have over the years turned into a dividing wall that threaten to bring the European Union to a collapse.
Unless the 27 member states – one less after the United Kingdom has left – learn how to compromise in search of a common good instead of the national good, it seems difficult to believe the European Union will be able to face any of the problems it has. The EU needs more than ever to go back to its origins and remember the reasons it was created -- and what its 70 years have brought -- in order to solve its existential crisis. #Brexit #EuropeanUnion