Viability of the European Union
A total of 28 member states situated in Europe make up the politicaland economic coalition known as the European Union. The EuropeanUnion was aimed at establishing free movement of goods, people, andservices across the internal market and maintains a common strategyon trade. From the initial stages, the criterion for joining theunion was vague, but it later changed in 1993 with the agreement ofCopenhagen European Council. It stated that countries participatingmust have liberal democracies and working economies and be able totake up Aquis Communautaire (Cini and Borragan 3). An analysis of theEuropean identity reveals its effects on the viability of theEuropean Union, the basis of formation of identity, and thesupersedence of nationalism over religion.
A unifying identity is vital, especially in a country like Europe,which is multi –ethnic. An identity is crucial for theeffectiveness and the legitimacy of the policies that are put inplace. An identity, in this case, is shared values that make theEuropean citizens feel like they belong to a distinct culture. Intimes of economic opulence and international relations, it is betterfor the entire European Union members to cooperate so as to leverageon the economic and political benefits of their membership.
The stability of the union, however, is threatened in most cases bypolicy and economic adversities. The financial crisis and marketfluctuations often have devastating effects on the individualmembers. A European identity would guard against a backlash from thevoters who object the economic benefits from Germany to support thestruggling economies (Richardson and Mazey 399). It is under suchconditions that the union would continue to thrive because of theimplementation of policies that would improve the European’s levelof economic and social intervention.
European identity would boost the viability of the union in the sensethat its development is needed in establishing a functioningpolitical community. It is also important due to the social-ethnicdiversity of the Europeans member states. The identity would bridgethe gap between European Union institutions and the citizens.Addressing economic differences would contribute the reinforcement ofan identity that would increase the legitimacy of the union. Theviability of the union is pegged on the reformation of the labormarket, which would enhance economic solidarity and foster a Europeanidentity. Identity would push members to invest in labor marketpolicies. The establishment of an identity would create policies andculturally accommodate intra-European migration and immigration. Thesystems are meant to foster ethnic acceptance that strengthens theunion.
An identity can be built by a political union to try and reviveEurope as a superpower. When the member states unite and come up withpolitical policies that enhance their democracies, they build anidentity (Cini and Borragon 339). A political hegemony would ensurethat conflict between social classes and groups are handledadequately. It can also be made by social solidarity and universalhuman rights. Democracy for all and equal opportunities regardless ofethnicity, citizen participation and gender equality would grow theidentity project.
In the European Union, religion plays an important duty in theshaping of attitudes toward the union. This is because Protestantsare sluggish in the acceptance of the integrations matters. TheCatholics are at the forefront in support of the integration whilethe Orthodox slightly helps it. The union accommodated most Catholiccountries and is the reason Orthodox are less passionate about theunion. Protestants have been noted as reluctant integrators becauseof the belief that the Catholic Church wants to reassert itshegemony. Religion may have dominated the influence towards theintegration in the early 90s. Nationalism, however, may supersedereligion, especially in the globalization era. European countries aremoving towards interconnectedness, but with the changing politics,nationalism is seen to emerge in Europe. An example of the politicalshift is the election of Donald Trump that has triggered nationalismin many European states that are up for elections. Most nationalistgroups place emphasis on sovereign rights of specific countries.
To sum up, the creation of a European identity has a lot of impact onthe acceptance of the European Union. The result falls under thesocial, economic, and political spheres. The relevance of the unionlies on how the member states adhere to the policies that bind thempolitically and economically. The identity seems to be built on acommon goal of economic and political gains. Nationalism ispresumably on the rise as it overtakes religion when it comes toshaping the attitudes towards the union.
Cini, Michelle, and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán. EuropeanUnion Politics. Oxford
University Press, 2016.
Richardson, Jeremy, and Sonia Mazey, eds. European Union: powerand policy-making.
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