Kirjoittaja Aziz Sheikhani, kansainvälisen politiikan tohtoriopiskelija (Tampereen Yliopisto)

The European Union as an economic and political union of 27 member states, is in a difficult and critical situation. Although it has been one of the most successful unions in the world, during the six decades, its process of development has exposed it to be a hard place. It is true that the EU has developed, in some sense, under the political consensus according to a clear plan. However, the enlargement of the EU, continually has caused imbalance internally among the member states.

There were different opinions relating to the growth of the EU. According to one of them, its enlargement was a vital factor towards the future of it. This kind of view was overly optimistic because it has been based on the optimistic perspectives. As a result, the other side of the coin was ignored. Regardless of the increasing number of its members, the EU internally has grown wide with more complex bureaucracy. Therefore, it has produced more cost and burden to the people of Europe and its tax payers.

It can be argued that the people of this zone, including its loyalists, were not prepared to deal with the economic crisis and the ups and downs of this historical union. It was seen and interpreted only from the view of economic growth and receiving more benefits. The union was imagined like a fruit tree that gave a good harvest year by year. This way of understanding caused a huge gap between the people and the politicians who were far from the positive objects of ruling and governing societies.

There are no profits and gains, and potential losses are included in all contracts. It seems that member states are not ready to last the pain growth of their union. In addition, internal politics is a ground battle for political parties to blame each other for the increase of unemployment, migrants, cutting benefits and current difficulties. Membership of the union has interpreted a base for the downturn of the national economy by a different extremism.

Some political parties and independent nationalists in most of the member states began to run their policy in the name of protecting their country, people and sovereignty of national state. They have raised their heads and claim to be the saviours of their national states. The silence of majority in these countries, has given too much space and a chance to do a radical rhetoric for organizing the people against the EU. It should be mentioned that withdrawal from the union, in fact cannot be the solution to current and future issues. The lack of existence, logical and decisive alternative, may lead to a worse direction.

The EU, regardless of all its weaknesses and side effects can be a good and positive union towards the future of the area. It is true that each issue, including the European Union has its own time. Therefore, the whole organisation is struggling now with the case of potential withdrawal of members. From the perspective of sceptics, the national state sovereignty under the framework of the union is at great risk. In addition, a secure, economic, national self-determination and future of some member states are worsening. It must be emphasized that the people and the right to self-determination cannot be crossed at any situation. It is a right way that joining and withdrawal of any union should be gone through the public referendum. Moreover, there is no eternal union among the states and parties, and no eternal consensus over social, political, economic issues etc.

Over the last three years, hard talk and confrontation about staying or leaving the EU has been heard across the member states. It was politicized by right-wing groups and it shaded the national and municipality elections. People were deluded and were tried to take their own political advantages from a tough situation. Greece’s economic and financial crisis within some other member states of the EU was transformed into a vast propaganda machine. The EU was blamed as a major factor behind the current condition. Extreme political groups saw the situation as a suitable way to mobilize people in favour of their policy. They accused the union for the worsening of the economy and for losing national sovereignty of their countries.

The question is, any attempt to rush the process of joining and withdrawing of the union is consistent with the logic. Policy of push and pull cannot provide the public interests in any country. There is a need to understand the whole issue and blaming each other does not lead to a right way. The people have a right to decide over their issues and there is no reason to mislead them under the ambiguous and noisy policy.

Aziz Sheikhani
A doctoral candidate from university of Tampere (International relations)