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The Future of the European Union, Thesis Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 627

Thesis Paper

The European Union is the most significant formation within the continent; constantly changing, expanding and developing. However, some researchers argue that there is a conflict between subordinate and super-ordinate nations; based on the level their national interest is represented within the organization. (Licata, 2003) The research thesis question of the below paper is:

“Does the conflict of subordinate and super-ordinate states within the European Union endanger the existence of the organization?”

Licata (2003) concludes that there is a conflict of interest on different levels within the European Union; double identity and citizenship, national interests, globalization v. national development projects. The research concluded in 2003 examined the level of European and national identification and found that the number of optimists regarding the expansion of the EU was significantly higher than the definite pessimists’.

A more recent study, from 2006, published by the European Commission showed a slight change in the number of people supporting the expansion. The study (European Commission, 2006, p. 7.) shows that the least happy citizens reside in the new member countries; with Hungary being at the bottom of the list. Another interesting statement (p. 13.) concludes that while most EU country’s citizens are interested in domestic affairs, less than half of them are interested in European affairs.

The conflict of interest has increased significantly after the Nice Treaty in 2000. As the Treaty determined the role of the European Parliament, the number of commissioners from larger member countries was reduced and votes’ weight changed. After the changes issued following the treaty, many of the large players of the EU might have felt like they lost power, while new members found it overwhelming to create new legislations and adhere to additional guidelines set by the EU Parliament.

Still, the most significant milestone of the 21st Century European Union was the Lisbon Treaty. (2007) As the treaty contained a number of articles regarding common values and responsibilities, as well as globalization policy guidelines, although it was ratified by all 27 members (including the newly joined countries), it did raise some concern within national governments. Claiming solidarity and equality when the member states are on different levels of development with regards to their economy or democratic efforts might seem too demanding for newly joined, ex-communist countries and a great responsibility for economically and democratically stable large countries, such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

The collapse of banks throughout Europe in 2007, and the economic problems in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy have created extra tension since the treaty; some national politicians claiming that responsibility should not be extended to the whole of the European Union. As the EU, since the Lisbon Treaty acts as one legal entity to benefit from a greater power of negotiation, it is the responsibility of the Union to create policies to protect and serve the interest of all countries equally. However, as not all the member countries are equal, this seems to be an impossible task.

The Euro Crisis in 2012 has confirmed that the level of interest conflict was rising within the European Union. Conversely, the source of the problem did not lie in the Euro itself; the reason was that some members have lost their trust in the power of the European Union to represent their best interest. The loss of trust can only be reversed by providing higher level of securities for individual countries to protect their interest. Still, a new, global policy and treaty would need to treat all members equally. If this does not happen, the main values and the purpose of the European Union would disappear.

References

Licata, L. (2003) Representing the future of the European Union: Consequences on national and    European identifications. Papers on social representations. Vol. 12. (2003) p. 5.1-5.22

Special Eurobarometer 251. The future of Europe. (2006) European Commission.

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