European Union

The European Union is a relatively new institution. The European Union is a grouping of European countries together under a single banner. As of late the European Union is struggling. While they have pushed back the ominous potential for a breakup it still lingers distantly. Greece is currently under pressure to reform their finances. Greece received loans from the European Bank after the European crisis hit alongside Spain and Ireland. Spain and Ireland implemented strict reforms and tightened their budget much to the dismay of their citizens. But this was done in an effort to repay the European Bank loan which had a short deadline.

Greece on the other hand did not implement such measures and has remained unable to repay its loan. When Greece looked to Spain and Ireland as well as Italy and France for support it received none of the support it was searching for. Instead it received somewhat frustrated remarks of sympathy but nothing else from those countries who actually reformed their budgets like they agreed to do.

In addition to that there is a great deal of controversy over Germany’s handling of the debt crisis. Germany responded by encouraging people to stay within the European Union and to remain with the Euro. They implemented austerity measures and quantitative easing in order to help alleviate some of the debt. But Germany has remained relatively stable and has become the de facto leader in the European Union as a result of this stability. But some now say that this country has looked out only for its own interest. Germany is an export based country. It produces more material goods than its people consume and as a result it receives most of its income through exporting goods to other parts of the European Union. If other members left the European Union it would mean Germany lost some of its profits. This is why many are arguing that Germany only opted to keep other countries in the union to protect its profits.

The European Union is meant to function like the United States in terms of open borders and the ability to move about the countries without having to change currency or get new visas. Originally there was a great deal of support for the grandiose nature of the European Union. Countries that bordered Eastern Europe were desperate to join. They went through rigorous application processes and applied strict changes to their country in order to receive admittance. The idea is a sound one but without a central federal government save for the few central administrative and financial bodies there is still a high risk for nationalism. And that nationalism has sparked. With recent terrorist attacks and continued debt crises countries within the European Union had turned back on nationalism and are opting to give up their support of a European Union in support for their individual country.