21st Century is a period of time when the globalization process has reached its apogee. All over the world exists thousands diverse international political and economic organizations and unions. According to Garret (2000, pp. 941-991) the most important cause of globalization is related to the international market integration. The major impact on this process has had the appearance of the European Union by Maastricht Treaty in 1993.
Peace, prosperity, stability, economic and social progress towards nations and individuals were the main objectives of the EU creation (BBC, 2002; Europa, n. a). After twenty years of cooperation different disputes about the benefits and disadvantages of the EU membership for a nation came up. Based on history, values and aims of the union this essay will examine both points of view and will try to make an overall conclusion. MAIN BODY History, objectives and aims of the European Union First of all, the goals and history of EU creation are tight connected. In other words, advantages and disadvantages of membership could be found namely in reasons and aims of cooperation.
As it was mentioned above, the EU appeared in 1993. However, the first steps of Europe integration were undertaken in 1949 and in 1951 when 6 founder countries which are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands created the Council of Europe and “Coal and Steel” Committee proclaiming peace and starting to unify the markets (Europa, n. d. b). Due to these treaties, for more than 50 years total peace, economic stability and annual betterment of living standards have covered the whole Europe.
As the Union was enlarging and the borders within member countries disappeared at all, goods, capital and people obtain the great possibility to move freely between states heavily influencing the fast development of the already integrated and unique economy. The other signed and substantial for Europe treaty is the Lisbon one. Europa (n. d. c) indicates that that Lisbon treaty proclaimed equality, democracy, freedom, dignity, respect for human rights and peace which are common for all member countries and are the main objectives. In present ays the European Union is powerful economic body and plays not the last role at the world political scene.
Moreover, EU as a strong international organization is taking the active action to fight and overcome global problems that an individual county would not be able to deal with. As it seen, history, purposes and objectives of the European Union gives bright impression about the function and future of the alliance. Nevertheless, in order to disclose the topic and evaluate I will state and examine both pluses and minuses carefully. Advantages According to Europa (n. b) the EU was set up with the purpose of ending destructing and bloody wars between neighbors which has culminated in two world wars. Grabtee (2007) assumes that European history could be truly called a military history of war and territory dividing, because of centuries-long series of wars between all countries. He stated that multilateralism which had started to develop after the beginning of function of Coal and Steel Committee has brought the never seen peace in Europe. The new political path lead to the total absence of war for all Member states and is attracting all European countries to join the Union till nowadays.
I believe that it is one of the major advantages to a nation to align the EU, because it has power to settle all civil and international disputes in a peaceful way. One of the main objectives of the European Union was the development of integrated economy and single economical area. Europa (n. d. d) describing the single market and related policies stated that all borders between Member countries disappeared allowing the freely movement for goods, people and capital in order to stimulate industrial and economical extending within a large area.
Grabtree (2007) researching the EU operation has found that the introduced unique currency called Euro has an advantageous impact on companies function and on economy in general. He stated that transfers became easier, costs more transparent and prices on goods became averaged in the whole union. Such strengthening of the economy brought stability and bright future. Moreover, because all economies became unified, countries gained the ability as a common body to overcome financial crises and agree on issues that mainly affect the economy. The Europa (n. d. e) also made a uggestion that such strengthening of economy made possible the financial help for poor regions that require the raising of life standard.
Because of this reasons it is beneficial to a country to join the union. Another beneficial cause for a nation to become the member of EU is the ability of multinational union to fight against global issues. Nowadays world society meets thousands of different global problems that need to be overcome and there are no countries that are able to deal with these issues by themselves. The official site of the European Union – Europa (n. f) affirms that EU has some of the highest environmental standards as like protection of nature, more efficiently using of national resources and the most magnetic desire to make Europe green. Moreover, two main environmental issues that countries in general meet all over the world are pollution and shortage of water. And EU is one of the biggest international organizations that fights against all kind of pollution and seriously work in the sphere of correct water utilization. In other words, it is obvious that in order to overcome environmental problems it is necessary to join the international union.
Another huge issue that world society fights for long time is war against terrorism. According to France Diplomatie (2010) EU has two main groups that specifically fight contra terrorism: technical and diplomatic, and other organizations as like Europol that general provide security but have jurisdiction it the area of terrorism confrontation. Disadvantages One of the biggest disadvantages for a nation to join the EU is loss of sovereignty. Every year European Union tries to implement new policies and laws related to enlargement of the integration process.
New rules and changings in social, political and economic life clearly lead to the loss of sovereignty. Will Huton (2007) in his article about British loss of sovereignty said that it is the well-known process for Britain. He stated that in the last few years 20% of Britain leading companies, almost all investment banks and lots of industry companies have become foreign-owned. This is the reason why nearly all of British newspapers treat the EU reform as a mortal threat to independence and sovereignty. If more than 50% of businesses are owned by foreign companies and individuals the market definitely cannot be treated as a national one.
Stephen Mulvey (2005) the correspondent of the BBC news, have written an article about Dutch people attitude towards the elections for the Common Constitution for Europe. The head of the Better Europe foundation and a former MEP Michen van Hulten (n. d, quoted in Mulvey 2005) said about elections that simple people complain about the elite elections and no permission for public to participate in them. Because only politicians are more frequently allowed to participate in voting and making really important decisions it is believed to be undemocratic and gives the strong reason not to become the member of the EU. Conclusion
Concluding, my personal point of view is that even there are strong disadvantages for a separate country to become a member of the European Union, advantages that could be brought due to integration and future encouraging abeyance deserves the respect and risky step. According to Crabtree (2007) the future of the EU is by all means beneficial because the Europe capacity to function as a union is much higher in comparison with capability of the small separate country. Based on history, values and objectives of the EU this essay has investigated the advantages and disadvantages of membership for a nation giving overall conclusion.