The European Union Versus Nationalism

The European Union is made up of various countries to try and create more cohesion. There are regulations for trade amongst each other and financial aid. The goal is to promotion of  human rights all around the world and even internally. It seems that over time the main objective isn’t obvious with all the trades and regulations. One downfall to this system is if one country goes down, everyone involved is affected. One reason many members are questioning membership is due to the economy. There is a high national debt and the banks are questionable at times (Kupchan). Many countries holding membership are thinking of holding a referendum in regards to ties with the European Union. Various factors come into play when pondering a referendum. It depends on what the country wants, motivation, and how likely things will turn out in their favor. By stepping away from the European Union, countries gain back their sovereignty and politics. Under the E.U., there are certain regulations that must be followed for trade with each other and other interactions. Being away from that, countries can make their own ties and possibly on their terms. One of the biggest motivators and supporters of referendums are those in politics. Granted other people are interested but these are the ones we hear about in the media. Right wing populism is on the rise almost nationwide for it brings hope to some (Kupchan). The hard edged nationalism and grit appeal to many hoping to bring change to current circumstances. The negative to this is the aim at minorities and loss of autonomy accompanying the political union (Kupchan). There is interest in control of the politics and even money for some.

France is one of the most known recently for its possible future with this political race. Running is Marine Le Pen and she believes that a referendum should be called (Aodha). Interestingly enough, France was one of the highest countries to show support with the Brexit result. France is highly influential in the European Union and brings in a lot of revenue. At the same time there are many politicians in France that are skeptical of the European Union. Sweden is not as aggressive with leaving the E.U. The majority of the parties and people want to keep ties with the E.U. One thing that might change this viewpoint is if regulations are imposed that didn’t agree with the Sweden democrats (Aodha). Leaders of anti-immigration parties hope that the relationship with the E.U. can be renegotiated. Denmark has a similar mindset to Sweden. Instead of a referendum on ties with the E.U., Denmark want to revise some conditions of membership (Lyons). Unlike France, Denmark viewed Brexit as a slap in the face to the system. Austria on the other hand will base a referendum vote on the next few moves Brussels (current ‘leader’ of the E.U.) makes. If Brussels tries to centralize politics and pushes aside the role of of trade and economic alliances, then Austria will vote. The Anti-Immigration Freedom Party believes that the European Union should be about economy and not politics as much (Lyons). Other countries such as Italy, Netherlands, and Germany are also having similar conversations. The next few elections in general may also hold the future of the European Union.

3 thoughts on “The European Union Versus Nationalism

  1. Michael Geyer

    There is a good point that if one country goes down, all countries get affected and the other personal political issues that go with it. This pulls the argument in as to if countries should be nationalized again or stay separate. Scandinavia has historically been a separate part of Europe. With their past, I think it’s fair to say that the motion that Denmark takes to revise instead of rebuilding in some terms is a more effective method to Europe as a whole. Scandinavia has been able to sustain their connections between each other fortunately because of a similar mindset but Europe will need to transition power back to each respective country in order to support induvial country’s right some are currently vying for.

  2. Danielle Samter

    I learned things I had not known from your abstract and think your topic is one Americans need to be informed on. It is easy to forget the current events of other countries when focusing on our own; but the interlocking nature of globalization makes it important to understand how things can effect the bigger picture. Such as the effect one country, like France, has on the European Union and thus our whole economy. I find the role you suggest nationalism plays in this deeply interesting as my personal project, Female Spirit Mediums in China, touched on this. Nationalism can also have its downside in its use of poorly intention leaders to control people. Chairman Mao, the communist leader of China who was revered as a God, encouraged targeting citizens based on their threat to his power under the guise of creating a stronger and better China. When a Spirit Medium evoked the now deceased Mao in a Shamanastic healing ritual the people witnessing were deeply conflicted based on each of their own opinions, and memories, of this event and time. Hopefully the choice to support Brexit and the nationalism accompanying it does not lead to France’s economic downfall.

  3. Florence De Boer

    This essay was an interesting read, I think the whole world is curious to see what will happen to the European Union. Especially after Britain voted to leave this year. I think one of the main problems that will result from countries leaving the European Union is the ability to travel freely in between countries. For example the Irish often move to other countries for work. The most common being England. However with the current situation, countries might stop the open borders or require visa’s which can take a lot of time. I personally think that the European Union is a good thing and if it is disbanded it could lead to a lot of problems, and cost a lot of money. Mainly to negotiate trade deals between countries.


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