It was just announced that Greece failed to strike a deal with its international lenders to secure badly needed funding. As a result, capital controls will be put into place and Greek banks will be shut this week. While Greece continues to dominate the headlines, it is really just a symptom of a much larger problem. The future of Europe itself hangs in the balance as its leaders desperately try to hold together a union that is like a boat taking on water from many different places.
In order to better understand what is happening now and what the future of Europe will be, I am starting a new series of articles that will examine the following five key areas that the EU must address if it is to stay afloat in the future:
- European Competiveness: Despite the size of the EU and its ample resources, it is becoming less and less competitive with other regions around the world. Can Europe regain it global competitiveness?
- Eurozone Financial Crisis: The EU has been called a monetary giant and a fiscal dwarf. Too many countries with poor financial discipline are marching down unsustainable paths. Can this be fixed or will the EU continue to kick the can down the road until a crisis becomes too big to solve?
- Political Discord: Many European countries face a growing distrust of their governments from their own people. Greece is the latest example of a nation that is deeply divided and at war with itself. Can European nations stabilize themselves amidst a growing political discord?
- EU Pessimism: There has always been skepticism about the EU and its ability to effectively and simultaneously govern so many culturally different nations. Today, these voices are no longer in the distance but can be heard loud and clear. Can the EU hold itself together in the wake of a rising tide of pessimism about its future?
- The UK Card: David Cameron has issued a warning that the UK will exit the EU if it cannot control the flow of migrants that are pouring into his country. This issue is amongst many of the reforms that the UK wants to see done. Can the EU resolve its difference with the UK or will the UK’s voters choose to leave the union once and for all?
The future of Europe is one that will significantly affect the entire world. While we have gotten used to European brinksmanship and its ability to pull together last minute deals, there is a growing probability that a crisis is coming that will shake the core of the EU itself. How much longer can European leaders hold together a union where many of its members are simply unable to govern themselves properly? The world is changing faster than many want to believe and the future of Europe is directly related to its ability to adapt to the new world rather than trying to defend the old one.
For more information about the Corvinus Global Business blogger, go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinmjackson1.