The European Continent has crossed uncountable challenges from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) to the European Union, from 6 countries to 27 countries. After World War Two, the first challenge was accepting West Germany to build the ECSC, and then overcoming the oil crisis, and the European debt crisis. Through those experiences, the EU is integrating and grasping more together, which can be seen in its behavior in external and internal affairs.
The attitude of the EU’s members is similar when they face the same challenges. First, this February, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the EU cut a deal and decided to support Ukraine efficiently in an emergency. It opened the borders and announced some policies for accepting refugees, and some countries supported Ukraine by delivering weapons and imposing economic sanctions. Those actions are successful because of the EU members’ cooperation, without the EU, those countries will not cooperate easily, and the action to protect or support Ukraine will not achieve their goals easily. Second, with the growth of China, the EU supports Taiwan through its practical actions, and the European Parliament legislators have visited Taiwan to demonstrate their stance against dictatorship. Through the EU, those member states share the same values and act similarly. They integrate because alone they’ll fail, so they need to work together.
Otherwise, the integrated process of the EU also can be seen in their internal cooperation and legal harmony. For example, only a few members are located in the Arctic area, but the EU set the Arctic Policy to protect the EU’s interests. Furthermore, the EU also signed one MOU about its Coast Guard, allowing the EU’s Coast Guard to accomplish its mission in every member’s territorial waters. Because of those policies, the EU members have to amend their internal laws to be in harmony with EU’s policies and laws, and those amendments can prove that the EU is integrating.
Admittedly, when facing an emergency, what the EU did is too little and too late. It is because with a supranational organization it is too hard to satisfy every member’s interests. Although it reacted slowly, it is still working on helping all its members, the European debt crisis is a good example to prove this.
To sum up, challenges lurked and disputes between all members will not cease, but the EU will stay together and integrated.
Written by Eddie C.
Edited by Ari B.