COMMITMENT TO EUROPE: European leaders claim for a committed relationship against the friendship some states ask for (16/04/2017 by Leticia Benitez)

The EU friend-zone

Since its founding, European Union has meant engagement and a tight relation among its members. In fact, prosperous times make loyalty easy, but it is in bad times when a couple´s true love is tested. It is necessary to make an effort although some countries prefer other kind of relationship. So, will the EU be broken up?

The European Union has been an organization for integration; that is, something else rather than just simple cooperation. Its major goal was to achieve peace among the Western countries. First, it was only an economic union called the Coal and Steel Community. But then, its competences were spread to the political sphere as well.

Since then, 28 countries have decided to become part and committed to what was meant to be a union full of advantages. However, like in any other human relationship, crisis could not be avoided.

Not all the couples get to survive bad times. Discussions about refugee´s programs or security policies are the main issues. Besides, concern grows as it directly affects to the average citizen. Some countries complain because they do not want to receive that many refugees the EU sets per nation while others want to close Schengen because of the terrorist threat. Useful solutions do not seem to be offered and policymakers do not get into an agreement. “The refugee crisis is causing serious political tension in Europe”, said the Finnish president Sauli Niinisto.

And that´s when some statesmen want their power back. They do not want someone else deciding for them, and less if it is against their will. “Let´s take back control of huge sums of money, of immigration, of our democracy” has said former London mayor Boris Johnson, supporter of Brexit. Great Britain, one of the founder countries, has been the first country to break up with the EU and to mark off the “friend-zone”.

France could be the next one, as Marine Le Pen, one of the presidential candidates, has promised a “Frexit”. “It is time to free French people from the arrogant elites, who want to dictate to them”, she added.

That´s where the real crisis relies on. The common values, traditions and history that were once the pillars to maintain the Union, have changed. If opinions are not shared, the European marriage could end up soon.

As British prime minister Winston Churchill said, the organization “must be a positive force, deriving its strength from our sense of common spiritual values”.

As a solution, the European Commission published the White paper, “offering five scenarios for the Union’s evolution, depending on the choices we will make”, declared Jean-Claude Juncker. The options run from just a “single market”, for those who want Europe in “friend-zone”, to a serious engagement with the Union.

But, as Robert Schuman once declared, “Europe will not be made all at once” but “through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”.

April 16, 2017

Leticia Benitez.

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