Future challenges

It is hard to predict the future of Europe. Uncertain economy and the financial crisis are huge challenges to the whole of Europe. The EU’s role in solving economic crises is significant.

Climate change, ageing population, unemployment, immigration and global security are issues that the EU must find solutions to.

Although most European countries are already EU members, the expansion of the Union is still a topical issue. In the summer 2013 Croatia will join the Union. Turkey too is interested in EU membership. New member states mean new challenges to the cooperation.

It is a challenging task to develop the European Union. In this, the largest EU countries have a special responsibility.

Pictured here is Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. Photos: European Parliament

It is no longer self-evident that all old member states will stay in the Union, either. The Treaty of Lisbon gave the members the right to leave the EU. The financial crisis has hit Greece so hard that many people have predicted for a long time that the country will exit from the Union. The European Central Bank seeks to keep the currency stable. The aid given by the member states to Greece has helped the country get over the worst. People in England have also talked about leaving the Union. The needs of all member states must be taken into account in decision making.

Ordinary people may often find it difficult to understand the European Union and how it works. The EU must find ways of reaching the EU citizens better than in the past and give greater consideration to their expectations and needs.

Layoffs, redundancies and migration of jobs to countries where labour is cheap affect the daily lives of European citizens. The EU is expected to find solutions to economic problems and employment. Also, people want standard labour agreements on terms of employment and working conditions that would apply across Europe and even worldwide. As a member of the World Trade Organisation the European Union is in a position to influence developments worldwide.

The EU’s goal is to simplify administration and make it more efficient. At the same time, it wants to bring the Union closer to ordinary people.

The Treaty of Lisbon has helped in reforming the administration of the Union. Today the EU is more democratic than in the past. The member states have more say. Citizens can influence decision making.

The world is constantly changing. The EU must change with the world and be able to respond to the challenges created by the change. Our future lies in a united Europe. We voters must elect capable and hard-working people to look after our interests in the EU. Good and efficient cooperation benefits all.