Future of the EU

April 17, 2012 • Volume 6, Issue 8
Can the European Union survive?
By Brian Beary


Medics try to revive a demonstrator injured (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)
Medics try to revive a demonstrator injured during a 48-hour protest by Greek unions outside parliament in Athens on Feb. 11, 2012. The government was meeting to approve a deeply unpopular EU bailout plan for the debt-ridden Greek economy calling for wage and benefit cuts for workers. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)

Europe's ongoing debt crisis is causing many to worry that the 27-nation European integration project, launched out of the ashes of World War II, may be doomed. At the center of this unfolding drama are Germany and Greece, two countries that epitomize the culture clash taking place between austerity-prone northern Europeans and their more spendthrift Mediterranean counterparts. Greece is on the verge of bankruptcy, weighed down by its vast sovereign debt burden, which some experts think could lead to the failure of the euro — the common currency used by Greece and 16 other EU members. Fiscally strong Germany, which led the EU bailout of Greece, has become an increasingly dominant decision-maker among the current EU-27. Amid the economic drama, the EU itself is changing: Its center of gravity has shifted markedly eastward since 10 former communist-bloc countries joined in the 2000s. And despite the union's current financial woes, Muslim Turkey and several volatile Balkan nations also want to join the EU.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Apr. 05, 2019  European Union at a Crossroads
Dec. 16, 2016  European Union's Future
Jan. 09, 2015  European Unrest
Apr. 17, 2012  Future of the EU
Aug. 2007  The New Europe
Oct. 28, 2005  Future of the European Union
Nov. 27, 1998  European Monetary Union
Jun. 28, 1991  Europe 1992
Jan. 13, 1989  Europe 1992: Danger or Opportunity?
May 11, 1979  Electing Europe's Parliament
Jan. 17, 1973  European Security
Sep. 03, 1969  Benelux Cooperation
Jun. 15, 1966  European Realignment
Sep. 19, 1962  Political Integration of Europe
Mar. 27, 1957  European Economic Union
Jan. 02, 1952  European Unification
Jan. 08, 1951  Defense of Europe
May 21, 1947  Federation of Europe
Nov. 16, 1939  Federal Union and World Peace
Apr. 12, 1933  European Political Alignments
Regional Political Affairs: Europe