When World War II ended the final remnants of the old European order lay in ruins. With such devastation wrought upon the continent twice in less than fifty years, it was remarkable that Europe managed to recover. What is even more remarkable is the Phoenix that rose from these ashes, and the new feelings of unity that accompanied the ending of the war. Those nations of western Europe began to do what decades ago had been unthinkable: develop the blueprints for a common system of the United Europe.
Today this European Union is a region on the rise, an area where economic and social progress are finally overcoming centuries of strife and difficulty. The dream of countless conquerors and idealists has finally been achieved with exemplary result, and new nations are now lining up at the doorstep of Europe to join this Union. It seems only natural now to improve the Union the best way possible, through the physical enlargement of its territory.
The progress represented by the EU is progress that deserves to be shared with the people of all European nations, yet on what scale? While today’s EU leaders are more than ready to invite fellow nations to join the EU, they fail to take proper account of the future, of how this could possibly cheapen the European identity and the work that was only spurred on by two destructive World Wars.
When we think of European identity, we think first of the most famous of the continent’s nations. Germany, England, Spain, France, Italy all come to mind as primary European nations. As well, they share a common history, bonds of strife and conflict through which they have all suffered together and are now emerging stronger.
Yet as the Union pushes ea...
... middle of paper ...
...ping it from overheating.
This is a job many have proved incapable of doing.
Working together, maybe Europe can find a perfect balance. Maybe it won’t. Time will only show the result of this effort. Perhaps such expansion it will produce a larger and more powerful Europe faster than any of us could have imagined, and those who doubted such a fast growth will be proved wrong. Or perhaps, it will produce a weaker Europe, a Europe plagued with trying to support less productive provinces, while the continent struggles to be more and more competitive. Or it might even result in the stunting of EU growth as small nations enter and soon withdraw, feeling as they may that the massive Union bureaucracy cannot keep up with their demands as a growing nation.
Only one thing is for certain- the next century of European history is bound to be a very interesting one.
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