“CITIZENS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ARE STILL NOT READY TO FULLY COMMIT TO THE ORGANISATION”
We all have our personal points of view regarding the European Union and we are all open to it in our own specific way. For some a love of European cinema qualifies them as being pro-European, for others it are their many trips to its cities. Although these are good reasons, they are not sufficient in expressing one’s true commitment to this union. And in times like these, it has never been more important to take a stand in this geopolitical debate.
First of all we need to clarify a bit about the history of the European Union, but in order to be complete we would have to go back thousands of years and visit important characters such as Charlemagne, Napoleon and many others. So we will just have to settle for a shortened version that focuses on the period after the Second World War. The year is nineteen fifty-two. The European Steel and Coal Community is founded. Its main goal is to regulate the supply of steel and coal. Six years later the European Economic Community is established. Its goal had shifted to encompass all economic activity. The last transformation occurred in ’93, the year the European Union was formed. A staggering number of five hundred million people fell under one central organisation whose main goal had become “United in diversity”.
As of today the union holds twenty-seven nations under its wing and all of them have joined voluntarily. So what we need to ask ourselves is: “How did they join this union?”. You could say that they joined by way of an official treaty or through legislations which are practically impossible to describe. But the truth is, there is only one answer to this question: the Copenhagen criteria. This consists of three rules: first, a country has to posses a working form of democracy. Second, it must have a functioning market economy and thirdly the country must embrace human rights. Bear in mind that, for us Western-minded people these criteria pose no obstacle, but for other (non-Western) countries they can be quite a barrier.
... signed it.Austria, Finland, and SWEDEN joined EU in 1995. Since 1987, many other countries have applied to join the European Union: Turkey, Cyprus, Malta, Switzerland, ... States of the European Union and the President of the European Commission. They meet at least two tomes a year (generally June and ... In 1992 the EU decided to set up some goals for the year 2000. They wanted to make sure that our ...
But never mind what criteria a country has to live up to. Never mind the gruelling administrative process of joining. What about the citizens? After all, it is all about them. What could move people who are so vastly different, to unite under one singular entity? Aren’t all people supposed to have their own cultures, their own beliefs, their own laws? Why would they willingly give all that up and be considered as one and the same? Therein lies the true purpose of this essay.
In recent news, Britain was outraged to hear that a Belgian might lead the European Union. But why was this so shocking to them? Isn’t it obvious that he, as part of the union, would be eligible for leadership? Isn’t he too a citizen of the European Union? This recent event has made it increasingly clear that the people might not be as unified as they like to believe. The country might have given up its own right to rule and given it to the supranational organisation, that doesn’t mean that the people have too.
The European Union is not only geographically diverging, but also ethnically and culturally. All citizens have to decide whether they see themselves as for example, Belgian or as a European. A government cannot possibly make this decision for them. It is therefore wise to include the public opinion into the whole entry-process. These twenty-seven nations are filled with individuals who have their own ideas and attitudes. It is unthinkable to expect that they abandon all of this the moment their country becomes part of the EU.
The choice that all people have to make revolves around two notions: equality or diversity. The motto for the European Union might be “United in diversity”, but that doesn’t necessarily make the two concepts reconcilable. For many people it is a choice between global conformity and cultural individuality. Some argue that it is human nature to conform. Others say that simply everyone is an individual because we all stand out in a crowd. And lastly there are those that say that we have our own values and beliefs, but that our behaviour is shaped by circumstance and environment and that this cannot possibly be controlled. We will never know just which side has got it right, but what is more important is that each of them contributes something to the whole discussion and keeps it alive.
Sources of law of the European Union are among three things namely primary sources , sources derived and subsidiary law. Primary sources, or primary law, mainly comprise the founding treaties of the European Union. Derivative sources are constituted by elements of law based on treaties. Included in the legislation, the legislation unilateral and conventional law. Subsidiary sources are formed by ...
We’ve dealt with history, the criteria for belonging, cultural differences, equality and diversity. Finally, we need to take a look at identity. Because there is no other place in the world where this is more important than in the European Union, which is really a jumble of assorted identities. There are two types relevant here: personal and national identity. The first one is the definition by which we see ourselves, by which we define ourselves. The second one is our belief in the membership of a nation. Between these two identities lies a great divide that can only be filled by information, interaction and acceptance.
But just how much do these two identities influence our daily life? While living our lives, do we think of ourselves as X or Y? Are the two reconcilable or not? Does saying we’re X completely exclude the possibility of Y and vice versa? This can differ greatly from person to person. Take the British for example: it is clear that they see themselves more as British than European. Otherwise they wouldn’t have the slightest problem with Van Rompuy being President. Of course, this is a generalisation and in order to know everyone’s opinion we would have to ask each European individually, which is nigh impossible.
So how will this evolve in the future? Will the EU’s plan work and will we all be united in diversity? I’d like to think so, but personally I don’t see this happening. The world is fragmented, divided and no amount of supranationality can release us from our cultural differences, it is who we are. You cannot ask two people from different nationalities to give them up and accept one common identity. There needs to be difference in the world. No matter how hard people cheer for conformity or unity or togetherness, in the end all we have is ourselves, singular. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the company of other people, the relationships we forge over the years and the commitment we make to each other. A commitment, not to some all-regulating organisation, but to people.
There are traits and characteristics that describe a person or group of people. However, each person or group has its own unique characteristics. The many countries within Europe have their own unique traits. These defining characteristics contribute to the creation of an identity. An identity is a notion that one can associate themselves with. Many examples of such principles are religion, ...
After all, the future is not set in stone. We cannot know for sure how this will all come to pass. And in an ever-changing, ever-challenging world, we must try to look past ethnicity, gender, personal opinions and be prepared to move forward, because civilisation cannot be without the consent of people, all of them.