On 26 May 2019 citizens in Germany will decide the future direction of the European Union. The European elections are of particular importance.
Will Member States of the European Union cooperate more closely in the future, with the aim of becoming the United States of Europe in the foreseeable future, or will Europe remain a union of nation states?
The European Union faces major challenges in 2019. For the first time there is an ongoing debate about whether to revoke individual or several steps towards integration such as freedom of movement, or to abolish common institutions. For the first time ever, an EU Member State intends to leave the Union.
Member States such as Austria are currently calling for a renegotiation of the EU Treaty and far fewer EU regulations. Their view is that the EU is outdated in its current form. The differences between France and Germany are clearly noticeable. Solidarity between the EU states, as well as shared values, are in danger of being eroded. “Europe has never been in such great danger”, says French President Emmanuel Macron.
European Parliament representatives will be elected between 23 - 26 May. The European elections could realign the balance of power in the European Parliament.
The European idea is more alive among citizens than it has been in a long time, and the EU approval is high. The majority of Europeans want to preserve their community of states. However, they also want an EU with a clear direction and ability to act on key European policy issues.
Only a strong community will be able to face global challenges. Terrorism, climate change, economic globalisation, migration and digitisation do not stop at national borders. Among the three major economic blocs, Europe is considered to be the weakest link.