An Existential Crisis: The State And Future Of The European Union
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For more than a half century, the European Union (EU) has contributed to unprecedented levels of peace and economic prosperity in Europe. Unfortunately, the success of the EU in these areas has been undervalued as the memory of World War II has faded. Additionally, there has been a significant rise in Euroscepticism over the past decade as the EU has fallen dramatically short of expectations when addressing the economic recession and debt crisis, the refuges crisis, and terrorism. These issues bring to light underlying weaknesses in the input legitimacy and output legitimacy of the EU. The challenges in achieving input legitimacy and output legitimacy has led the EU to a truly existential crisis, as many doubt if the EU can continue to survive in its current form. The future of the EU depends on some external factors beyond its control (the Russian threat, the global economy, the French and German elections, and the fate of the UK as it attempts to leave the EU), but its future also depends on the steps the EU takes to restore its input legitimacy and output legitimacy. First, the EU must take effective actions to show its value on a large and personal scale to restore its output legitimacy. Second, the EU must address underlying concerns of detachment, identity, and its purpose. Finally, the measures the EU takes to restore its output legitimacy and build its input legitimacy must be effectively and accurately communicated to the people.