The Future of the European Union Enlargement and Its Challenges

  • Abstract:
    The European Union (EU) is one of the most progressive and pervasive political and economic institutions in the world today. The Union consists of 27 member states, implying almost 500 million inhabitants. The creation of the EU itself has been a revolutionary act never encountered before in history, as several sovereign countries agreed on the long-term target of the generation of a common region of unitary legislation. Since its inception in the 50s, the EU has taken huge strides toward further integration and enlargement in the hope that it will provide peace, security and equality for its citizens and promote economic and social cohesion. Enumerating the advantages and opportunities resulting for economy, societies and individuals in the EU, one always has to take into consideration the serious challenges the formation of the Union poses to the particular member states and to their inhabitants. It has achieved a lot in many fields through a process of voluntary integration between the nation-states of Europe. Hence, it would not be unwise to conjecture that the EU is a unity within pluralism since it can unify various actors for achieving a set of shares objectives. Over fifty years later, the EU is neither a pure intergovernmental organization, nor a true federal state. However, the EU is teetering on the brink of stagnating or ‘euroscleroses in the face of financial crises in Greece as well as others in the EU, notably Portugal and Spain. The still-unfolding crises have questioned the eurozone’s ability to design a scheme capable of dealing with the threat of sovereign default. The specter of evolving challenges hangs over the region and continues to cloud its future.
    This paper attempts to examine some of the key contemporary challenges confronting the European Union, and to explain how they are challenging for the EU while paying a close attention to the possible solutions to the problems. The aim of this paper is analyzing the following challenges: The first issue is the future shape of enlargement of the EU. The second structural challenge is democratic deficit that has often been described as the distance between the EU institutions and citizens. The third challenge is dealing with sovereign defaults which we can examine the case of Greece and the future of euro. The final challenge is foreign policy dilemma.