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The European Union is Gasping for Breath and Faces Uncertain Future

Updated on December 16, 2019
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MG is a senior air warrior who has seen combat and is an alumnus of the Staff College and a writer on military matters.

The Beginning

The European Union appeared on the scene 50 years back. It was built on the ruins of World War II and the European powers thought that they would henceforth unite and put their differences on the back burner. WW II was a watershed in European history, as for the second time in 2 decades, it was the playground of dictators who set Europe afire. Hitler and Mussolini were part of this scenario.

But during the last 5 decades, the EU has lingered on. One fact has emerged is the domination of Germany over the EU as a powerhouse. A lot of this has to do with economics. Germany is now the engine that runs the EU. The poorer EU states of East Europe now look to Germany for succor. These states have been bailed out by stronger economies like Germany. The German state is now numero uno in the EU. This was not acceptable to the UK and so they left. This is the first break but cracks are there at a number of places. The recent victory of Boris Johnson has put the seal on Brexit. Germany achieved in modern Europe something Hitler could not achieve in his lifetime.

One other aspect hastened the departure of England from the EU and that is the latent fear of the induction of a million refugees professing the Islamic faith. This has upset the delicate balance of religion and the state. For long the Pope and others had denied Turkey a membership of the EU simply because they did not want to upset the EU as a bastion of Christianity. Turkey had applied to the EU in 1987. But with a million and a half Muslims refugees, the bastion of Christianity is breached.

Refugees and Birthrate.

One aspect that is often overlooked is the role of refugees in Europe. The refugees are from the war-torn lands of the Middle East and North Africa and 99% of them profess the Islamic faith. The Germans perhaps committed a mistake in taking in more than a million Muslim refugees. This has been adversely commented upon by Donald Trump. These refugees in the years to come are going to multiply and will become a significant percentage of the population. The birth rate of the EU nations is well below the required rate to sustain a population and in the decades to come these Muslims will call the shots. Their birth rate is many times higher. Even if a small minority of them take to activities against the state, the Germans will have thousands of Jihad believers in their own country.

The EU needed labor and the quickest source was the refugees. Much Earlier, Germany had been importing " guest workers" from Turkey. Europe always needed labor. Hence the decision to give asylum to the refugees. But ISIS is a fact of life and it has an indoctrinated cadre. There is every chance that many of this cadre have infiltrated into the EU. The result is the carnage at Nice, Paris, Berlin, etc. Add to this the low birth rate of the European women. The required birth rate is 2.1 to sustain a population, but the EU birth rate is much lower. The writing is on the wall.


The economic disparity between the Eastern bloc and the western bloc is a source of friction. The East European countries are also being subsidized by Germany and to a lesser extent by France. How long will this continue?. Greece is the first and many Balkan nations are in the same boat. Italy and Spain's economy is also rusted. The only strong economy is that of Germany which now literally runs the EU.

Another significant aspect is the rise of the right-wing parties in Western Europe. They already have a significant presence, but a few years down, their appeal will go up. Europe needed labor, so they compromised but there is a world of difference in culture and ethos and integration is not possible.

A significant part of the population is with the extreme right and men like Geert Wilder and Marine Le Pen cannot be written off. They may not win now, but a decade from now it well could be a different story.

Last Word

The future of the EU may not be that rosy. In the years to come, the right-wing parties may steal the lead and that will harm the EU. Donald Trump was right when he mentioned that the European Union is obsolete. One may not fully agree with him but the exit of the UK, now a certainty may lead to the exit of some others as well. A bigger problem is the economic one. The EU has not brought in prosperity for everybody and there is an economic imbalance. It will survive so long as all nations accept German domination.

However, without the UK, it's a lame tiger and we know lame tigers cant run fast.


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