POLI3180 Politics, Policy And Government


Although the EU is considered one of the most successful international cooperation experiments, it is still being contested in Europe.


The European Union is an international organization made up of 28 countries from around the globe. It was founded in 1958 to allow free movement in goods and services between member countries.

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The European Union began in Western Europe. However, it has been expanding to other parts of the globe, particularly the Eastern and Central European countries.

Since its creation in 1958, the European Union has experienced unprecedented success and growth (Cini und Borragan 2016,).

Europe experienced political instability after World War II as well as an economic downturn.

With this in mind, the European Union was established to unify Europe and foster economic, political, and social cooperation among the European countries.

In 2012, the Noble Peace Prize Award was presented to the European Union for its contribution to peace and stability in Europe.

Apart from the fact the European Union has been successful in restoring peace, stability, harmony, and harmony between the European states, the EU is most well-known as a body that provides practical advantages to its members.

EU member states do not have to pay duties for trade within Europe. This makes it much easier and simpler to import and export goods among these member countries.

Members of one European Union country can also move to another EU state. If a member is treated unfairly or unable to pay duty, the European Ombudsman can be contacted.

The European Union is a major experiment of modern times that regulates common economic, social and security policies across Europe.

But, scholars and critics today like Neil McCormick point out that EU has become a system where different nations are competing against each others, as none is able achieve the ascendency.

In the following essay, I will critically analyse, evaluate and discuss why EU is so controversial despite it being one of Europe’s most successful examples of international cooperation.

Before discussing the reasons for the EU member states’ contested nature, let’s discuss why the European Union has been deemed a success in today’s world.

The European Union has been hailed as one of the most successful international cooperation experiments.

It has not been possible to find an international project in which as many as 28 countries have collaborated and coordinated in a broad range of areas. (Wagner 2014).

It has been quite surprising to see so many countries working together on executive, judicative or legislative aspects of the country, covering all domains from common fiscal policy to common environment policy and protection customers.

A free trade area, the EU, has seen much success and appreciation. This has in turn helped to promote peace and stability between its member nations.

It is the reason the EU is still considered to have been the most successful modern-day experimentation in the world. The EU has brought 60 years of peace and security in Europe, increased the standard of living in member countries, and helped create a single European free market for goods (Jeffrey 2015.

Despite its unquestionable success over the decades, the project has been the subject of intense criticism in recent years.

It is essential to learn why the EU has been criticized across Europe.

McCormick & Bankowski are two of the EU’s critics. They claim that it is an entity with “interlocking normative realms” in which no single nation has any privileges.

The EU is a legal system they consider at risk in today’s world.

These two critics believe that the EU has become an international body in which none of the competing systems can gain the upper hand (Beetham, Lord 2014).

Over the years, there has been explicit contestation within the EU.

The EU has been at the edge of disaster for many years due to the political instability within the EU and the inability of member states to take action independently.

The fact that political hot topics are leading to the rise of Racism and Xenophobia in the EU’s most tranquil places, such as Scandinavia, is no surprise.

The recent attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Munich Olympic massacre in 1972 are just two examples of the obvious reasons that Islamophobia is growing among the EU member countries (Slapin 2015).

However, the European Union introduced a migration strategy that aims to integrate migrants into the EU countries. This policy also ensures that legal immigration in the UK is well managed.

However, Britain and other countries are being threatened by mass immigration. This is due to the absence of economic, political, and social security for migrants.

In Britain, approximately 50% of residents feel that immigration is having a negative impact upon their lives. As a result, effective EU integration was impossible. Britain left the EU to reduce the problem of its migration (Hanf, Soetendorp, 2014).

It is important to have greater coordination between the member states in order to formulate the policies. This is precisely what is lacking here.

The European Union’s policy of freedom of movement across EU countries has caused a problem with large numbers of people moving to Britain and Wales. It was therefore expected that there would be a split.

Ejik (and Franklin) have described European integration as a sleeping giant.

The reason for the same is that the union itself is anti-integration.

The European Union is in serious trouble because of the left right opposition. They are well-known for attacking European integration as an extension their domestic opposition.

The extreme left, on the other hand, has considered the European integration issue to be a very elitist capitalist project that results in the exclusion of ordinary citizens from decision-making power (McCormick 2014).

The right, on the other side, has seen the EU as a supranational project intended to weaken national autonomy and traditional value.

While there is no question about the possibility for a left-right EU, the problem with this is that the right is very different from the left in terms of its political agenda, which ultimately makes the possibility that union impossible.

The left seeks greater integration in the area of employment policy while the right appears to favor market integration overall (Borzel, Sedelmeier 2017).

Integration through the European Union remains questionable because of the weak relationship between the right and left.

The European Union is the largest intergovernmental organisation in the world but it faces problems with economic downturn, high rates of unemployment, and inflation throughout all EU member states.

The unemployment rate has been rising in most EU member countries. It is currently at approximately 17% and 27% respectively in Portugal (Bache et al.

The extent of the unemployment problem in most EU countries clearly shows the failings of EU institutions.

The European union has failed to implement effective macroeconomic policies capable of reducing unemployment.

Because of the diverse nature of economies in EU member countries, integrated macroeconomic policies are needed to make them more effective.

Most policies implemented by the European Union have been centralized and are not able to address the problem of unemployment.

The current economic situation in Ukraine means that Central and Eastern European nations will suffer from gas supply issues. However, it would have very little or no impact on the Irish economy (Howorth 2014.

Therefore, EU policies need to be tailored in order to serve the country that requires it.

The EU policies tend to seek consensus and have often worsened unemployment.

The main problem with EU’s macroeconomic policies is their attempt to maintain stability in the Euro. They allow countries to borrow, but offer little to mitigate the drop in employment.

The fact that the European Union is able to effectively care for the well-being and security of citizens in its member countries, makes them safer and allows them to work with Euro-partners to fight terror scourges, such as ISIS, is undisputed.

However, most EU member states have considered alternatives due to the EU’s ineptitude.

Every EU member should have the ability to consent to its political system. However, the EU is well-known for blocking this right (Wallace.

Although the EU and the European Court of Justice enjoy all the power in the decision making process, they are often unreachable and accountable.

More than once, the EU was accused of being an international entity that outsources key parts of the political lives of different countries to the unreachable realm of European Commission.

The European Union, a deeply conservative project, fails to unite the European people. Instead of uniting them, it weakens them nation-by-nation.

The EU actually weakens democracy and reduces it to people who are being governed by the EU for their own benefit, instead of their consent.

In this instance, Portugal is worth mentioning, whose economy is expected shrink to 2.3% by the end of this year (Bache, et al.

The EC began pressing the government to abide by the ruling after the Portugal government renounced the austere measures taken in violation of the decision of its constitutional court (Wallace et.al.

Portugal’s government was also being threatened with losing vital funding from the EC. This prompted a constitutional crises.

This is how EU officials are being discovered to insert their autocracy within the governance of member state governments.

While ordinary citizens may find it difficult to accept the decisions made against their will, citizens from the EU member countries cannot vote out.

The EU states face many difficulties because they lack democratic accountability.

Remember that the noble purposes behind the creation of the European Union are to increase mutual prosperity between the member nations, reduce animosity in Europe, and provide the Europeans with currency.

But, most EU states have not been benefited by the EU’s formation (Hill et.al.

The faltering economies of different nations are mostly the fault of officials in the system, but none of them directly responsible for millions of unemployed people.

These tensions are worsened than eased by these officials.

It is important to note here that, in order for financial markets to be integrated successfully, particularly at the wholesale level of the EU, the single currency of Euro was also introduced.

This has made it possible to eliminate any difference between cross-border retail payments and those that are paid in national currency.

The creation of a single currency has helped promote economic stability and has also enabled political unity among the member countries.

The participating countries gave up their national currencies and lost all control over their currencies (Glanville, eta.l. 2015).

Even if member nations experience any type of wage inflation, it is impossible for them to deflate their currencies in order to make their exports more appealing.

Furthermore, the countries that are affected by economic downturns cannot print money to help their poor and unemployed people.

Transparency has been a problem in the European Union for years.

The proper removal of inefficient officials should be possible through a system that includes both formal and informal checks.

The EU authorities are not subject to the power will. They have actually made the decision-making process so complex that it is difficult for ordinary citizens to understand.

It is also being considered a case of an overburdened bureaucracy, where the legislative process can be very complicated.

Open Europe recently found that the EU actually requires 1,70,000 people to run it. This number is almost seven times greater than the number of workers who serve it.

To implement the legislation effectively, the European Union needs at least 62,026 workers (Bulmer, Lequesne, 2013).

Even though there is not enough workforce, the EU creates legislation that is applicable to almost half of a billion people. This is one reason the EU has been criticised.

It is easy to corrupt the process of creating legislation due to the system of shadow decision making that is part of the EU.

The EU’s transparency, integrity, accountability and transparency are extremely questionable.

Transparency International conducted a survey and found that around 70% of EU members believe the EU system to be largely corrupt. Furthermore, they are unsure if they have any faith in the EU’s complicated decision-making process. These complex decisions require real-time accountability instead of the crude verdict of elections (Schimmelfennig, et al.

Many people in EU member countries have lost faith due to the high costs and risk that the EU system poses.

Major crises have been triggered by the EU’s fiscal debt and banking problems in small countries like Greece and Cyprus.

But, in America, a situation similar to that in Greece or Cyprus — where Rhode Island or Louisiana or even California go bankrupt — would only be a small blip (Dinan, 2014).

Many people accuse the European bureaucracy as being inefficient and too slow.

Others have pointed out, however, that the Euro zone expansion was too fast and has caused the creation of many different economies at the end.

Although the European Union was initially confined to Western Europe at its inception, it has been expanding over time, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.

Since its creation in 1958, the European Union has experienced unprecedented success and growth.

Europe experienced political instability after World War II as well as an economic downturn.

With this in mind, the European Union was established to unify Europe and build a political, economic, social, and political alliance among the European nations.

The EU is the only organization that has managed to unite so many nations.

Modern critics and scholars such as Neil McCormick point out that the EU has been criticized for being a system where different nations are competing against one another, since no one is able achieve ascendency.

In exceptional cases, the EU may be better than many of the national administrations systems.

But it must use effective measures to address bureaucracy and adopt new policies for each state. It cannot simply continue to govern with the same complacency that it has shown so far.

The EU can be made more democratic and transparent by introducing a two-tier parliamentary system.

It is possible to make the system more accountable by shifting power from the hands the unelected administrators to those of directly elected MEPs.

To ensure that legislation can serve citizens better, the quality and effectiveness of EU laws and policies must be improved.

For better regulation, there are three key elements that must be considered: transparency throughout the process, evidence to inform policy and law-making, and participation of citizens and stakeholders in decision-making.

Refer to this Reference List

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The effects of enlargement upon compliance in the European Union.

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The European Union’s member countries.

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