Europe and The World War 1
So many political discussions have been held concerning the future of the European Union due to its present challenges. World War 1 was described as the Great War for several reasons, one of which is the destruction of some nations in the European continent. Before the war, Europe was regarded as the strongest, most powerful and most advanced of the entire continents that exist. This status was conferred on the European continent because it was at the forefront of technological advancements; the countries of Europe were also dominant concerning territory expansion outside their original boundaries through trade and colonialization. Britain, France, Belgium, and Germany were introducing a new system of government to Africa and Asia, thereby annexing the countries there as an extension of their own. The war took away all these and Europe literally became a bleeding continent.
The war also saw that some powerful empires were destroyed-The Austria-Hungary empire, the Ottoman empire, the Russia empire, and the German empire-to give rise to new countries like Poland, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Syria, Estonia, etc. which now make up the European continent of today.
After the war, the leaders of different countries in the European continent saw the need to foster cooperation and peace among the nations. It was after then; the League of Nations was created to protect global peace. But the peace did not last, because the losers of the First World War did not get over it and the gloomy atmosphere soon led to another war, the World War II which was the continuation of the first one. Europe again witnessed the agony of another war, and more empires were decimated, and more European countries lost their standing among nations of the world.
The European Union
After two Great War that had substantial effects on the European continent, countries of Europe saw the utmost need for peace and cooperation among them. Belgium, Italy, France, Netherland reconciled and started cooperation regarding trade, and soon afterward the European Union-which became the largest union of European countries was formed.
The European Union was created to bring about economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence among European countries by creating uniform laws, rules and regulations which ranged from Trade, Currency, Immigration, and Security, etc. designed to promote the continent of Europe. But it has been over 100 years since the war and so much as not changed in the continent. The distrust and selfish nature of these countries are still evident in their laws and relations among themselves and states of other continents.
Brexit and the future of European Union
On June 23, 2016, a more than 52% of the population voted on a referendum to exit Britain from the European Union which now became the popular word Brexit. Over the last few years, Brexit has been the significant discussion among European countries most especially British citizens, scholars, and politicians. Most people think the issue of removing Britain from the Union started recently, but history pegged it to 1975 when over 60% of the country’s population-both administrative regions and other countries that make up Great Britain voted in a referendum to keep Britain in the European Union while less than 40% voted to opt out. This crisis then split the political class, as the Labour Party breaks during which the pro-Europe moved away to form the Social Democratic Party.
Theresa May, the current Prime Minister announced the intention of Britain to leave the Union after invoking Article 50 of the treaty of the Union. Several reasons can be described as the cause for the Brexit because it is a concept that would not have been thought of a decade ago. The economy was the primary reason for the British intention to leave the Union. It is evident that the economy of Europe is gradually collapsing and the rising unemployment seems to have no end in sight. Staying in the Union would eventually affect the British economy. Also, British financial institutions are the oldest and most trusted in the world, and they attract lots of clients all over the world. These institutions are important, and the whole of Europe cannot afford not to do business with them.
Furthermore, the rising cry of nationalism among countries can also be regarded as a factor. The need to secure the interest of Britain and its citizens first before others. Trump is already doing that in America, so why should Britain allow EU-a sinking ship- to drag it down, a decision which has greatly affected the future of European Union
Brexit: How Europe is reacting
Voting to leave the European Union is not what the countries of Europe want, and even not all countries of Britain see it as the best move. While England intends to leave by voting 53%, Scotland, Northern Ireland both wants Britain to stay in the EU.
It is evident the European Union do not want one of its most prominent state to leave the Union, but Britain has decided. According to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Union, he said that “Europe does not want to build a wall, but Brexit mean we will be drifting apart.”He believes trade relations between Europe will be more difficult and complicated even though that’s not what they would have wanted, a view that is shared by the French President, Emmanuel Macron.
Merkel, EU, and its Immigration stance
The growing immigration issue in the European Union has become a significant discussion for political analysts and foreign policy analysts.
During the last two decades, there has been a significant rise in the illegal immigration into the European countries most of which is blamed on the stance of EU on its immigration law. The recent terrorist’s attacks that have made its way into Europe it’s believed to be caused by the EU porous laws on immigration, and it has become a situation that needs urgent attention. In fact, these immigration issues have said to be another cause for Brexit, and it has become a major concern. Even politicians now used immigration campaigns to win elections. It has won elections in for Macron in France, Merkel in Germany, Austria, Italy and Hungry.
Merkel has severally shown that she is a supporter of the European Union immigration policy and in 2015 welcomed about 1 million immigrants and refugees into Germany,an action that has caused so much political crisis. For her, Germany has the moral obligation to be accommodating these refugees because of the part it plays in the World War 1 and the Second World War. Her actions have been the major cause of her political problems as leaders like Trump have attacked her stance. Of recent, the German Chancellor has rescinded her accommodation for these immigrants and stats has shown that Germany’s intake of immigrants has reduced significantly. Merkel’s deal to compromise and send migrants back to their country is evidence that the European Union needs to revisit its immigration policy, and they need to do it fast.
After 100 years, it seems the events that led to World War 1 are gradually aligning. The future of the EuropeanUnionappears to be bleak and gloomy. The growing distrust among European nations, rising campaigning for Nationalism and issues of Immigration is separating these nations and it has become an issue of significant concern. Recent events and actions of European countries show that the EU is gradually losing its recognition as a Union created to promote peace and integrity. It is time for leaders of European nations to come together, put the issue of nationalism aside and commit to the future of the continent with a collective effort before further damage more substantial than Brexit occurs.
Another critical issue to discuss is Macron’s comment about Europe having its military. Macron, an anti-Trump, believes it is time for the European Union to have its standing army to defend it. This is further evidence of that Macron, like Trump also supports Nationalism, but he wants it to be a Continental issue. Macron’s vision for a Military that serves the European Union is not entirely a bad idea since nationalism is the reigning concept among nations. But at a time like this, it will be a misplaced priority and a far cry, the European Union, already has enough on its plates. How to improve the economy of countries of Europe and border security of nations should be at the forefront of issues to be addressed.