Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Europe: What future in the light of the crisis? (1/2)

Europe as meant to be

Europe has been struggling for centuries to come up with a unifying trend which could gather all Europeans around common values and ideals. Be it through wars, diplomatic approaches or economic alliances, Europe is still thriving with a single goal in vision: A unified Europe for a true European citizen. This approach didn’t encompass only the European geographic and demographic extension but expanded itself into a universal idea of union and prosperity which would serve the humanity as a whole.

The geographic expansion of Europe towards Eastern European nations has proven not only the success of the European unity which appealed even to former soviet countries, but also displayed to the international community that even though different as we are, we are still sharing a lot in common, and the basics of the European principals proved to cover these common ideals we are looking up for.

But what are these European values and what makes them so unique? A quick glance at the many aspects on which lies the European union will reveal these ideals on a practical basis and not only as a set of theoretical and utopian precepts.

Good governance

What set apart the West and the European Union in general from the rest of the world are the good governance and the intelligent affair’s administration. Europe now is one if not the most democratic political body which sets the standards to follow for the rest of the world. This achievement should be regarded not as a regional achievement but as a multicultural and global movement’s success in bringing politically, socially, economic and demographically different nations to agree to a set of regulations and policies which take into account the respect for the national sovereignty of the member states while at the same time building a comprehensive network which knits a unified European strategy for the whole members community.

As an article in the guardian expressed the concerns over the divers body forming the European Union and the threat of such diaspora to the unification efforts:

“…the union now contains countries that are geographically distant from one another, and which have experienced very different histories. To some extent geography determines interests. Historical experience also shapes perceptions of national self-interest. Thus in a broader union it may become harder for the member-states forge common policies and approaches.”[1]

Cultural understanding

It is in indeed amazing how the cultural values Europe stands for shaped the mutual understanding which allows so diverse communities and nations to live side by side in a tightly knit union. In a world which is torn apart by the many differences our religions, cultures, social mixture and political systems experience, the struggle for global peace and understanding is becoming more pressing than ever. But looking at the successful integrative policy Europe led throughout the past, we can easily notice how well the immigrants, Romas, Gipsies, Muslims, Africans and Asians managed to coexist in total respect and consideration. The providing of institutions, political and social bodies as well as comprehensive policies is an example of how the bridges of understanding can be built if the political wiliness is present.  

International peace promotion

Not only the European values and ideals are meant for local consumption, they are also a product exported all over the world which tries to give others the taste of global success and peace Europe world hard to implement. The many events where European intervention proved to be crucial in order to draw the world attention to conflicts, suffering and oppression attest of the significant place humanitarian efforts are granted in Europe’s foreign policy. A successful nation or Union cannot be judged solely on its internal achievements, but should be taken accountable for a greater role outside geographic borders. Europe proved to be an active fighter and promoter of international peace and global well-being, and this genuine interest in the world rather than the selfish self-centered policy several political entities promote reveals much about the nature and essence of European values which are truly universal ideals.

Economic prosperity

Another striking power of the European values is the way the economic prosperity is fostered through caring mechanisms which allow a certain financial flourishing of businesses and individual richness. Creating a common market and allowing the flow of goods and merchandises freely in the European geographic spot not only served as a driving force for the Economic financial status, but rooted the principles of joint cooperation and mutual help in order to boost peace and unity through economic cooperation. As one of the major pillars for self-satisfaction, economic needs of the European are tightly observed and secured, as a mean to fight the social diseases which find their roots in poverty and social disadvantage.

 These aforementioned values –which are the same values I see as indispensable for well-being and prosperity-, are to be considered in whatever endeavor started and which tries to promote and incorporate a productive union which works equally on the financial prosperity as on the immaterial flourishing of societies. Peace promotion, cultural understanding, economic prosperity, social care and the sense of global citizenship are true core values of the European well-being system, values which are to be secured and protected for a better Europe and a better world.