What’s the future for the European Union?

We are currently living a conflict period within the European Union, but do not think it is just about the southern economies, all the countries are virtually in troubles. Politicians and economics are trying to manage a crisis, for which a solution is not found, and in which there are a credit crisis, the banks solvency is doubtful, and the confidence in politicians and in the EU has almost disappeared. It is very difficult to predict how these problems will be fixed, but what it certain is that the European Union will be very different at the end of these crises.

futuroueI would ask the European leaders how they expect the citizens to believe in an institution where there are greater differences between the states each day, where there are countries which are forced to pay huge interest rates which condemn their citizen’s future while some other countries are getting richer. The European Union was born to connect the countries and join forces, working together and avoiding an excessive power of one of those countries and reducing the conflicts’ risk between them. Is this not what is happening right now between Germany and the Southern countries?

Given this escalation of tension, how will the European Union be in 10 years? According to one of the most prestigious think tank, founded in 1925, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, there are four different types of scenarios;

The “Japanese” European Union; this is the scenario in which we are currently living. The rescue of the deficit countries will continue. The project of an European union will not be completed. Europe will lose its importance in the international markets and will be far from the richest countries, United States, China and the new emerging Asian rich countries. Europe will have a huge debt which will take a lot of years to be paid and will suffer a deflation.

The Union’s rupture: In the situation described above, some countries will leave the EU because they could not afford more austerity policies imposed by Germany, and they will return to their old currencies. The differences and the hostility between the southern and northern countries will grow, in the poorest ones, anti-European extremist parties will rise to power, while poverty and immigration will increase. The European Union will be broken forever, which could occur peacefully or violently. Another key factor of this possible future could be the Scottish independence from UK, what could cause a domino effect in some other European regions.

An EU for the strongest countries: The strongest economies will walk towards an economic and fiscal union and will form a smaller but stable economic union which will maintain some agreements with the ex-members of the old EU to facilitate the commerce.

United States of Europe: I think it’s the most possible scenario. There will be a two-speed-EU, some countries will have to leave it, while those which clean up their accounts may be part it. It will be lead by Germany and France and will walks towards a fiscal and economic union.

This crisis has hit Europe so hard that a happy ending to all seems to be very difficult.

Sources| The Economist, XL Semanal

Image| European Union

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Author Spotlight

Daniel Jurado Ruiz

Dani Jurado

Currently working as senior auditor for a Big Four Company in Belfast, UK, previously worked in an import and export company in Shanghai, China.

BBA at ETEA Business School (Córdoba, Spain) and having studied at The University of Birmingham (UK: BBA & EBBS), and at Kyungsung University Read Full

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