It is not constant struggle that is the sign of healthy competition, but diversity. (Michael Rothschild)
The European Union is in bad shape, both economically and politically. For a while now, economic growth has trickled to a halt not only in central states, but in peripheral countries, as well. Member states are moving further apart in terms of prosperity and it seems even the slightest convergence is few and far between. The unemployment rate is hitting record highs and it is predominantly young people who are being affected; younger generations in Southern Europe are more or less losing the prospect of a secure future. The middle class is shrinking and poverty is growing. This, of course, is not only true for crisis states. Indeed, the collapsing euro is a sword of Damocles that hangs over all, threatening every member state with an economic and political meltdown. It’s no wonder that public approval of an increased Europe is shrinking, while the name Brussels has become nightmare-inducing for some. National, regional and local issues have begun to dominate again while Europe’s relevance is being called into question more often.