Post-modern Europe Facing the Modern World: EU’s Moment of Crisis

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The European Union seems of late to be confronting various challenges concerning the foundational logic of its integration process and international identity. Having been brought into existence as a pace project in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the EU of today appears to be still far away from fulfilling its desired goals that its founders set for it decades ago. At stake is the EU’s ability to deal with the emerging modern challenges by remaining true to its post-modern aspirations.

 

Arguably, one could refer to many recent examples substantiating such a dire conclusion.  First, Russian actions in Ukraine confirm that geopolitical confrontations still haunt Europe. The challenges posed by the Russian annexation of Crimea and the hybrid warfare tactics of the Russian military in eastern Ukraine, suggest that the constitutive principles of the post-Cold war era security order in Europe are now at stake. Feeling encircled by the enlargements of both the European Union and NATO towards its borders and being denied the status of a great power by the West, Russia has lately intensified its actions to make a come-back to great power politics. In the Russian mind, great powers should be entitled to spheres of influence in their neighborhood and the post-Cold War security order in Europe should be redesigned in such way as to ensure that Russia, alongside the western powers within EU and NATO, should be given an equal say in its formation. 

 

Second, the growing chaos and anarchy in the Middle East and North Africa presents the European Union with a very serious strategic challenge. The erosion of the decades-long territorial borders in these regions, particularly following the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, not only puts the bilateral and multilateral relations that the EU has developed with the incumbent regimes in these regions in jeopardy, but also presents the EU members with the problem of continuous migration. Figuring out the ways of dealing with the emerging humanitarian problems in the spirit of EU’s multicultural and universal integration has proved to be a fallacy as EU members are still far away from adopting common policies that would offer long-term solutions. Neither have the well-established regional initiatives of the EU been revised in the process of adapting to the changing dynamics in the so-called greater Middle Eastern region, nor has the EU adopted specific solutions to the emergent problems in the region from a strategic perspective.

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