In Europe there is a political and economic union of 27 nations that has revolutionized the way that we look at international organizations and the structuring of economies.
The European Union (EU) has been growing since 1958, when only six nations put into place certain beneficial economic policies to elevate their places in the global economy. In 2001, the European Union took its largest step toward becoming a strong economic power: switching to a single national currency, which 26 of the 27 member nations adopted. Since this change, there have been mixed reactions throughout the EU.
Very recently, however, the EU has found itself in a place of turmoil, losing the stability it once depended on. Greece and the UK’s refusal to become full supporting members of the EU, combined with many countries’ economic collapses, led these EU nations to have come to a head, with the possibility of the UK dropping out of the EU.
The UK has great influence over the EU; if it ends up following the wishes of almost 70 percent of its population and leaving the EU, the EU will move closer to resembling a nation state. Right now, the only force that is keeping this from happening is the UK and its influence over deciding objectives.
If the EU becomes more unified and the 26 member nations join together, the result is the creation of a supranational organization made up of over 400 million people. Global economics will be forced to change and it will begin to move in a vastly different direction.
Feelings about this potential powerhouse are split. Many people, especially those in the UK, feel that the EU will never be able to survive and is just a pipe dream; hence the economic evasion and desire to withdraw. Others feel that this is a great prototype for more international cooperation.
When the United States began talking about the formation of an American continental union stretching from Canada to Central America, no one really thought that it would work, and it didn’t.
The EU could be the greatest opportunity for the world to see if nation states can get on well enough for unification to be a viable option in the future.
The European Union is on the brink of changing the world forever. With its success, it could open the door for similar economic and political partnerships to form all around the world.
However, if the strain of dependency proves too much for the Union, it will prove the UK and all other doubters of the system correct, and nation states will be in place into the far future. I, for one, hope that the European Union survives this test, whether or not the UK stays or goes; for this union will one way or another change the world.