Is covide19 will tear the EU apart?
The European Union refers to an economic and political organization that comprises of twenty-seven member states. The states that make up the union are in Europe; consequently, bringing rise to the organization’s name. The association, formed on November 1, 1993, covers an area of 4,233,255.3km2. The estimated population of the union is at approximately 447 million (Jørgensen, 2018). Following the rise of the coronavirus pandemic, the stability of the association is highly threatened. The countries of the union have experienced high cases of faculties of the virus. This situation has created the thought that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to the end of the union. Arguably, it is vital to assess the possibility of the survival or collapse of the European Union as a result of COVID-19.
The situation within the European Union is currently in a tense space as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Following the outbreak of the virus, countries affected most in the international system are the countries of the union. Among the most affected countries within the union include Spain that has a total of 208839 cases with 21717 deaths, Italy with183 957 cases with 24648 deaths, and Germany with 148 704 cases with 5100 deaths (Worldometers, 2020). Other profoundly affected countries include the United Kingdom with 129 044 cases with 17337 death and France with 117 324 cases with 20176 deaths (Worldometers, 2020). The high number of cases of coronavirus across Europe has led to adverse economic impacts as the countries attempt to deal with the pandemic (Pullano et al., 2020). Several states have suspended their economic activities aimed at earning revenues for the country. Notably, a high number of resources have been used in the attempt to provide medication to the affected population and relief to the individuals whose means of earning incomes are affected.
The issues between countries of the union began to escalate before the coronavirus pandemic following the differences in ideologies. Among the problems witnessed in the association include the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the union. The threat of Brexit has significantly affected the union by the fact that it is one of the most significant funders. The economic stability of the union would be affected, as it would be underfunded. The free movement aspect has also caused the escalation of the problem. Some of the countries within the union are overburdened by the movement of people from other countries. The factor is a challenge as the members of the association cannot stop the migrations.
Among the factors that contribute to the predicted failure of the united union include international actors. Some international actors with the potentiality of leading to the collapse of the association include the united states and Russia. The existing rivalry between the united states could facilitate the collapse of the union due to the conditionalities presented by the two superpower rivals. In recent years, some of the countries in the European Union have engaged in relations with Russia. The relationships have been due to essential trade deals and other deals, including power supply. Due to the rivalry that exists between the united states and Russia, the strong supporters within the union may view the relations as offensive. This factor could lead to the widening of the existing rifts.
Among the factors that support the collapse of the union is the issue of Brexit. Following the move of the United Kingdom to leave the union, other countries have the potentiality of also leaving the union and lead to its collapse. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic has the capacity to cause the fall of the association. As a result of the epidemic, most of the countries have experienced adverse economic situations and outcomes. The economic activities within the union have been suspended. By the end of the pandemic, the union and the union members may not be able to efficiently fund the activities of the union, consequently leading to its collapse.
Border issues and challenges within the association could also lead to its failure. The permitted cross-movement across the borders of the states within the union has increased the movement of criminal activities. Nugent (2017) suggests that in an attempt to mitigate the crimes, some countries could close their borders, a factor that could cause a widened rift in the union. Terrorism also threatens the existence of the union. Following the occurrences of terrorism attacks in places including France, the other members of the union felt threatened and unsafe. Members who feel the attacks are as a result of the affiliation to the united states are likely to leave the union, causing destabilization of the union and the possible collapse of the union. The association of some of the states to Russia also creates the possibility of the collapse of the union. Some states of the union relate to Russia for benefits, including trade relations, a factor that is considered offensive by other members.
The reasons likely to facilitate the survival of the union include the common market. The common market has ensured that the member states benefit as they find a ready market for their products without paying tariffs. Since the member states of the union are unlikely to go war with each other, the union is likely to serve as a way of maintaining peace among the member states. The availability of common labor provided by the member states of the union is also likely to facilitate its survival. By being a member state of the union, countries have the advantage of sourcing cheap labor from anywhere within the union for their industries. The existence of the union also increases the bargaining power for its member states. The countries in the union increase their bargaining power when the states relate with other actors in the international system. Belonging to the union also increases the security capabilities of the member states. The member states of the union have the common army, NATO, that facilitates the security of the region.
Jørgensen, K. E. (2018). Theorising the European Union’s foreign policy. EUROPEAN UNION FOREIgN POLICY, 10.
Nugent, N. (2017). The government and politics of the European Union. Palgrave
Pullano, G., Pinotti, F., Valdano, E., Boëlle, P. Y., Poletto, C., & Colizza, V. (2020). Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) early-stage importation risk to Europe, January 2020. Eurosurveillance, 25(4), 2000057.
Worldometers.info. (2020, April 23). Coronavirus Cases: Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/