A supranational union is a special type of association that stands above a single state and is able to perform the functions of a single state, making decisions as if it were a single state. The European Union is just such a type of assembly, which is a conglomerate of 27 member countries. Most of the countries of the European Union are in Europe, but this political entity is an ideological and political conglomeration, not a territorial one. The slogan of the European Union is the Latin saying “In Varietate Concordia”, which translates as “United in Diversity” (Olsen 2020). This quite accurately expresses the tasks and ideological position of the European Union – to create uniform conditions for the mutually comfortable existence of nations and countries in harmonious trade and humanitarian relations.
The policy of this Union provides for facilitated movement within the member countries, while creating a stable internal market within the Union as a trading system. Within the framework of the EU countries, goods and services move freely, which is achieved through facilitated legalization with new standards based on the agreement of countries to work together. An economic agreement on common goals and a single currency creates a special eurozone as a harmonious financial ecosystem. The European Union ensures active interaction with the outside world through diplomacy through organizations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. The history of the European Union can be traced back to the post-war period, when mutual integration between European countries began through a series of peace treaties that included an increasing number of countries. The history of the European Union is the history of gradual unification by peaceful means, which made it possible to maintain the goodwill of internal and external relations, but at the same time to increase the joint economic power of the countries of the European Union.
The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from participation in the European Union became a controversial and largely based on the ideology of British exceptionalism, a decision that could split the British nation on this issue and cause considerable anxiety. For several decades there has been a split in the UK Labor Party on the issue of remaining in the EU, but usually the votes were distributed in favor of remaining in the EU. The situation changed with the growing economic crisis and its noticeable consequences, when the Independence Party began to manifest itself more intensively in the UK in the early 2010s (Olsen 2020). Already in the middle of the decade, the first referendum was held, which decided in favor of Britain leaving the Union, which is why the short term Brexit was born. Despite the fact that at first even the Conservative Party of Great Britain was against leaving the EU, the results of the vote surprised the public. Many economic sectors have suffered, Britain’s trade with the EU has declined, and the need to pay off Europe’s accumulated multibillion-dollar debt has also become clear. Problems also appeared with the preservation of real estate and the curtailment of privileges associated with liberalized access to the EU countries. The split also occurred in Ireland, where part of the country retains independence from British sovereignty and seeks to continue smooth trade relations with the European Union. Although the countries maintain cooperation through multiple treaties, at the moment, it can be stated that Britain has missed a lot economically, while politically this decision indicates a growing number of cases of the desire for national individualization in an effort to gain more influence at the international level.
One of the financially and historically largest countries participating in the treaty left the Union, thus starting an unprecedented trend of exodus of countries from the conglomerate. Nevertheless, now there is an impressive number of countries that, for one reason or another, would like to join the European Union and were able to officially express this wish. Justified accordingly is the fact that European countries are delaying some countries from immediately joining the European Union. However, it should be borne in mind that there may be cases when joining an association can provide immediate guarantees for the protection of the country from external pressure or even aggression. Consideration of an application to the European Union should include taking into account a sufficiently large number of complex factors that need to be considered in the long term. This list is an attempt to ask the main questions that could be asked when a country applies to the European Union.
- “Does the country observe democratic principles based on the immutability of the law that protects human rights?”
- “Has the country implemented or is it currently implementing the main tools of legal communication familiar in the European Union?”
- “How developed and ready for global integration is the economy of the country?”
- “Is the country at risk of conflict with any other member of the EU?”
- “Can the democratic and economic course set in the country towards merging with the Union have a long-term perspective?”
Access to the European Union requires compliance with the approved Copenhagen criteria, which are based on a number of principles. The primary rule is respect and observance of democracy and the law based on it, which respects human rights. Based on this, the first question for entry into the country would be dedicated to the idea of human rights in the country. The issue of legal procedures is fundamental, since the EU countries profess a single 800-page set of rules, aquis communauteire, which is a link in the legal administration of each of the participating countries (Olsen 2020). A functioning economy is also important for successful and at the same time equal relations between all countries of the Union. It is vital that the country has the prospect of effectively and mutually beneficial joining the existing system of economic relations without harm to the country and the entire Union. The final question is investigating if the country is in prospect to profess democratic principles further in the near future.
Members of the European Union have legitimate reasons to believe that the course of countries towards freedom of rights and global market integration may turn out to be only a temporary fad, while the establishment of economic integration builds an overly complex and trusting chain of relationships between member countries. Of course, the country should not be in conflict with any other member of the European Union, since this problem would immediately be transferred to the entire union with the need to choose sides. The conflict of a country with another country, the situation of martial law, with the exception of obvious external aggression, is sufficient reason to freeze the application.
Olsen, Jonathan. The European Union. Routledge, 2020.