The European Union: A Critical Assessment
The European Union (EU) is a culmination of a long process of economic and political integration among European states. The EU started as a free trade area and a customs union. Over time, it has become a supranational entity that resembles a federal state and is governed by a byzantine bureaucracy in Brussels. The EU claims to have brought about prosperity and stability in Europe, but those claims are increasingly at odds with reality. Europe is becoming worryingly unstable and is falling behind other regions in terms of economic growth. The EU model, which is marked by overregulation and centralization, seems increasingly out of place in today’s world. What European countries need in the coming decades is openness, rather than regional protectionism, and flexibility, rather than overregulation from Brussels. Above all, what European governments need to do is to reconnect with their increasingly restless electorates, rather than ignore the latter for the sake of the unwanted goal of a European superstate.