The uniqueness of the European Union – Marcelle Marins

The European Union (EU) has its first roots in the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951. The ECSC origins is deeply associated with the European security dilemma present after the World War II, specifically, the historic hostility between France and Germany. Therefore, to avoid future wars some states (Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) decided to integrate their economies with the creation of an institution that would form an economic interdependence between its member states. The foundation of an organization by the Europeans had also a big support and stimulus from the United States, that believed that a strong Europe was necessary to stop the advance of the Soviet Union in the continent.

The context after the World War II and the history of the region was essential for the designing of an institutional that would last till the present days and be very complex. Therefore, can be argued that the integration process which happened in Europe hardly can be replicated in other parts of the world. None of the economic blocs in the world (NAFTA, Mercosul, ASEAN, etc) come close to the achievements of the European Union, even in Mercosul where the members has a similar history and language you cannot find such a strong integration.

Nevertheless, the European Union exists not without its own problems. The EU can develop itself in two ways: the deepening of institutions or the entrance of new members, and in that decision you can find different positions within the members as they have different interests. In one side, defending the admission of new members is the United Kingdom, in the other side, advocating the deepening of the institutions are France and Germany (was more neutral, but after the 2008 crisis started to plead for a deeper organization). This disagreement can put the organization in a deadlock that prevents it to go either way.

Thus, can be concluded that the European Union is an advent unique in history, that arrived to this point because of the Cold War context and an old rivalry that was trying to be solved. Also can be inferred that a complex organization such as the EU has its own problems, what does not mean that the organization will come to an end. The European Union reached a point of interdependence within its member states, where there is no turning back.


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