At the same time, the post-war period gave Europeans the opportunity to promote its interest more towards institutions. It was used as a model for expanding on their objectives and goals in both the economic and political scenarios. Under this framework, they enable institutions to conduct decision making practices that seek to maximize their benefits and gains. At the same time, this model was used as a form of monitoring tool that tries to monitor non-compliant states who continues to pose a threat to neighboring countries.
Due to this, it has slowly transformed European institutions into a supranational identity; collective and sovereign in nature. Likewise, it considers the shift of interests and scope as time continues to pass. It is due to this that the idea of integration became plausible for European states. The Onset of a European Union Prior to its name, the EU has undergone numerous policy changes and amendments before it reached its original position in the global arena.
The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was the first economic partnership by these states as it sought to intensify its coal and steel sectors. Though it can be argued that this was solely a partnership intended for increasing trade, the idea of controlling Germany was also part and partial included in this framework (Mannin, 2004). Then there was a realization of the need to create a customs union to further intensify trade and hopefully try to reach out to other potential members. This process initiated the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1958 (Mannin, 2004).
After this, the community and partnership grew as it sought to widen its membership while deepening the foundation and roots of its institutions. After several decades, with more countries, an established framework, and shared cultures and beliefs, the European Union was conceptualized. This transformation has been different from its counterparts like the United States or ASEAN in general because of its strong institutional foundation and wide array of goals that sought not only develop economically but also politically and socially as well (Briney, 2008).
What remains to be fascinating about the whole idea of the EU is its composition. We see in here a group of states working together to achieve similar goals and endeavors and “pool their sovereignty in order to gain a strength and world influence none of them could have on their own” (Europa, 2008, p. 1) while maintaining their individual independent sovereignty. Looking into the future: Adapting to Challenges As the EU looks into the 21st century, there are existing challenges that need to be addressed; contemporary issues that need to be tackled and dealt with accordingly.
However, many scholars have been arguing that the current EU is facing a crisis in its efforts to continuously expand and balance interplay among politics, economics and social factors. “Europe is facing three simultaneous crises: an economic crisis with persistently high unemployment and low economic growth; an institutional crisis – symbolized by the failure of the European Constitution – and a political crisis through the reemergence of nationalism” (Collignon, 2006, p. 1).
One important crisis involves high levels of unemployment in the region. This is due to increase in high labor expenses and the emergence of other important actors such as China and India that serves as competition to trade. Similarly, there has been a gradual decline in GDP growth which in turn slows down growth and productivity (Collignon, 2006). There is also the problem of implementation in its institution and political crisis.
The insufficiencies of EU in governing and effectively applying its policies towards member states have greatly impacted on the way people react back to the current setup. An example of this is the current restructuring of the EU Constitution. “It was meant to adapt more efficient institutions capable of dealing with Europe’s governance after the addition of new tasks and competencies such as foreign policy and home and justice policy and the enlargement of the European Union’ (Collignon, 2006, p. 1).
However, due to state sentiments and reemergence of nationalism such idea continues to become an impediment. Imparting Change In responding towards change, the EU must not only focus on institutional reform or economic reforms but also revitalize and rethink the way it approaches policies and decision making processes. By ensuring that the European Government increases accountability and political responsibility, only then can economic reforms hold ground (Collignon, 2006, p. 1). At the same time, EU must actively initiate institutional reforms.
It must be realized that to create an effective constitution that is accepted by everyone, normative neutrality must be achieved. “This means that all different political interest groups, and particularly the right and left of the political spectrum, must have the same confidence in the fairness of the policy-making procedures, so that even if they get overruled in a decision today they may have a chance to revert this decision in the future after convincing the majority of the population” (Collignon, 2006, p. 1).
Conclusion To conclude, the political and economic changes have paved the way for the creation of the EU. It is through European’s states adaptation to the current scenario of uncertainty and security threats that paved the way for them to unite and create what we consider now as a supranational entity. As the EU faces new challenges in the 21st century, the long history of culture, values and norms can help revitalize and shape towards the needed change.
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Europe in European Economic Review. 38. 883-890. Europa (2008) EU Institutions and other bodies. Retrieved December 19, 2008 from, http://europa. eu/institutions/index_en. htm Manning, M. (2004) Europe Today: National Politics, European Integration, and European Security. ed. Ronald Tiersky. (Rowman & Littlefield) 297 – 345. The Brussels Journal (2007) The result of the European Unification will be War. Retrieved December 19, 2008 from, http://www. brusselsjournal. com/node/2104