The European Union: The Present Situation in Europe

The European Union (EU) was signed on February 7, 1992, at Maastricht, Netherlands. According to this treaty, a single currency is necessary to be adopted in all member countries which would be introduced by 1999. The euro was imposed on European countries as the currency without creating a special centralized government with the power to collect taxes and make decisions on how to spend them. Many experts presuppose that it would be better to create “a federal fiscal system” but no one wanted to talk about the United States in Europe. Many countries consider the EU to be the way to economic development and a strong economic system and almost every European country wants to be a member of the EU. Nevertheless, strict requirements of the EU hamper the way of many countries to the eurozone. When Greece became the 12th member of the EU which adopted the euro, no one guessed that it caused a global disaster. Does the euro currency unite the European countries? Was it really advantageous for many countries to become a member of the EU?

The current crisis demonstrates all the weak points of the EU. This crisis has intensified economic problems especially of those countries which are debt-laden such as Ireland, Portugal, and Greece. Many experts presuppose that the crisis makes them abandon the euro currency. This situation has caused a wide range of conflicts in these countries. Budget-cutting and debt-reducing measures could force the weak countries to desert the euro. Is the eurozone an internal conflict or a great unity?

Member countries should reduce their debts up to 60 percent and keep their budget deficits from exceeding 3 percent of the gross domestic product in order to be a member of the EU. Portugal, Greece, Ireland, and Spain had to make a lot of efforts to follow all these current EU budget rules and as the result, they have a lot of economic consequences which have aggravated the economic situation in these countries. As the result, it causes a high level of unemployment. Low wages make a lot of citizens dissatisfied and this caused a lot of rebellions. The notion of “non-paid generation” has become associated with the economic situation in many European countries. Was it really worth it for many countries to become a member of the eurozone? Many experts predict that Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain are not able to get through all the problems of recession and have to drop out of the eurozone. It is impossible to keep the eurozone boundaries as they are at the present time. On the other hand, if these countries leave the eurozone and have to present a new currency on their territories it worsens their economic situations. The result would be collapsed banking sectors, steep inflation, and the flight of capital. All these factors make the countries which hate each other keep together. Nevertheless, it cannot continue too long, dissatisfaction of many countries is difficult to restrain.

Is the euro “a government-killing mechanism” for many countries? The level of unemployment in such member countries as Spain has risen to 20 percent. The quantity of debts does not decrease; the member countries have more and more debts to the EU. National parties in debt-laden countries are convinced that no one votes for such harsh policy as the bailout authority measures. The euro’s troubles make other countries think over whether it is necessary for them to adopt the euro currency or not. As the result, the crisis has intensified the weak points of the EU and many politicians should think over their mistakes and measures which may improve the present situation in Europe.

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