European Union

European Union (Photo credit: erjkprunczyk)

Why is the European Union having such a rough ride?

It seems that although the majority of us elected to join the EU, the majority of us now barely have a good word to say about it! I have been guilty of such scepticism myself, but now I rescind. We Europeans love to snipe at the US, but secretly we do recognise its strengths, which are several. Firstly, they have a federal government, and I think this is the direction we should be going in. Secondly, they have a federal reserve bank, which kind of evens out the extremes of short-term governments. Thirdly, however individual different states are, they have a sense of unity – they are Americans. I think that this is how we should be thinking. We need to view ourselves as citizens of the United States of Europe, albeit with our quirky national differences. 

This endless national-stereotyping and paranoid nationalism (especially when times are tough) make us easy prey for those who would see the EU dissolved, and have us return to our traditional country-based rivalries (which may be great sport in – well, sport – but which also fueled the fires of two horrendous world wars – just in case you’d forgotten).  If we don’t have a sense of European unity, then we’ll slide slowly back into the chasm. We don’t find it difficult to feel ‘European’ when we feel threatened by outside forces. We don’t find it difficult to feel European when we applaud our great new EU-based GPS system. We don’t find it difficult to feel European when ‘Asian bird flu’ invades us. We don’t find it difficult to feel European when the US does something stupid, and we don’t find it difficult to feel proudly European when ESA has a triumph in space, or Europe as a whole does well in sports. So why is it so effing difficult to feel European on a day-to-day basis?

So, stop being so hesitant! The USA had a very rocky start to its success. We are having a rocky start too, but to dissolve the EU is unthinkable and dangerous. Support what we already have, get involved and complain about what you don’t like – just like you do at home. Wherever we live, we complain about our country politics and try to vote for better things – but we don’t vote for the country to be dissolved! We are Europeans, we are part of a great new evolutionary step.  Please, I want to hear your comments on this.