Rethinking the European Union: From Unity in Diversity to Diversity in Unity

By Bonciu, Florin | Romanian Journal of European Affairs, September 2015 | Go to article overview

Rethinking the European Union: From Unity in Diversity to Diversity in Unity


Bonciu, Florin, Romanian Journal of European Affairs


Florin Bonciu1

1. European Union: The objective need of a fresh restart

As a rule and with very few exceptions, if any, on any conceivable subject there are different opinions, some of them even contradictory or conflicting. Being such a large concept and at the same time reality European Union raised in time a variety of for and against positions with an infinity of shades of meaning in between.

Anyway, we appreciate that the current situation is fundamentally different because the internal tensions of the organisation exceeded a point of no return. In this context whether something is done or nothing is done the European Union is going to change in a profound way. The question is not if but when and how. These intrinsic structural tensions within the European Union which are manifested in the economic, political and social areas as well as the perception that a change is about to happen determine in our view the objective need for a fresh restart.

An important clarification is necessary before going any further. A restart means a continuation in a different way, adapted to the new local, regional and global circumstances. Therefore the position of this paper is not for or against the European Union, it is just for a European Union which is adapted to the new realities, efficient and competitive in an ever more integrated global economy.

The long term perspective: looking into the past

In 2007 when the European Union celebrated 50 years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome there were a lot of analyses regarding the achievements of the first 50 years and the challenges for the next 50 years. At that time I appreciated that the European Commission did not speak about the objectives for the next 50 years but about the challenges. It was a balanced and prudent approach. The first challenge mentioned (that is Facing Globalisation) was the challenge resulting from the unfolding of the globalisation process2. Meaning that in the mentioned globalisation process the European Union was not exactly in a favourable position.

But the declining position of the European Union in the world economy was not something specific to the 2007 anniversary of 50 years since its inception as it is not something related to the economic crisis that started in 2008 or the acute Greek crisis that manifested in 2015. The declining position of the European Union in the world economy has been a phenomenon that started long ago, before the organisation had been rebranded in 1992 with this name.

According to Business Monitor Research that processed data from the International Monetary Fund for the past 35 years (period 1980 - 2014) the share of European Union in world GDP in PPP expression has declined constantly from about 29.775 % in 1980 to about 16.939 % in 20143. During that period of 35 years 19 countries became members of the European Union which brought about a considerable enlargement but at the same time the share of the organisation in the world GDP has declined constantly. A conclusion from this long term trend could be that the European Union is affected by a more structural and even intrinsic fact that makes it less dynamic than other regions of the world.

Assuming that the trends that manifested in the past 35 years will hold true for the next 5 years, by 2019 the share of European Union in world GDP will be of just 15 %4. As can be noted, an interesting fact is that if the forecast for the next 5 years is true then in 40 years (from 1980 till 2019) the European Union would have halved its share in the world GDP from 29.775 % (which is about 30 %) to 15 %. This long term trend is presented in Figure 1.

Consistent with this long term trend in 2008 when the financial and then economic crisis affected a lot of countries, particularly the developed ones, the European Union was among the areas that suffered the most. This statement can be easily proven with International Monetary Fund and World Bank data. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rethinking the European Union: From Unity in Diversity to Diversity in Unity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.