It’s been a difficult year for the EU. Europe is facing not one, but three, existential crises: a monetary crisis, a borders crisis, and a political crisis. While an immediate exit of Greece from the Euro has been averted, expect that to come back by the end of the decade. Greece’s debt is still unsustainable, and the political barriers to a realistic write-down are as insurmountable as ever. On borders, the influx of refugees is testing the limits of national delegation and cooperation, as well as of the principle of free movement of people. Finally, one of Europe’s largest countries—the UK—is getting ready for a referendum that could well see it leave the Union.
Despite all of this, I think it is worth remembering just how unique the EU is. There is no other group of countries as numerous and as diverse as the EU that have attempted such close cooperation. EU countries make real compromises in many areas of narrow national interest in order to contribute to—and benefit from—the greater good. That brings its own challenges, but the level of international cooperation is still a long way from what other regional groupings have achieved, despite the rhetoric around groupings such as ASEAN.
How do you feel about the future of Europe? Do you think it can work its way through these crises? Let me know via Twitter @Baptist_Simon or via email on email@example.com.
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