Europe Day: EU searching for a political identity

Written by Aris Heru Utomo

The 9 May is Europe Day, the commemoration of the proposal by Robert Schuman on the creation of an organised Europe, indispensable to maintenance of peaceful relations on 9 May 1950. Seven years later, it was followed by the signing of Treaty of Rome on 27 March 1957. Six founding countries namely Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the Treaty. Today, the 9th of May has become an European symbol (Europe Day) which, along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the single currency (the euro), identifies the political entity of the EU.

Since the the EU has grown from 6 original member countries to 27 today, expending its original role promoting economic cooperation into an integrated bloc which share currency, common borders and cooperation on areas ranging from the environment and immigration to defence and foreign policy. It shows the achievement of the evolution process of the European integration from the start to the various stages of the integration project: Coal and Steel Community, Economic Community, European Community, European Union.

Considering the achievement of the European Union integration, we should take notice that those process of integration obviously involved Eastern Europe countries and Balkan which were belong to Communist bloc during the cold war. At that moment, it was difficult to construct cooperation with those countries under the same common position.

With regard to the EU’s achievement on the process of integration, we are also seeing that at this time the EU are challenged by internal issues such as streamlining the economic differentiation in each member countries; particularly refer to the 12 new member countries which joined to the EU since 1 May 2004 and 1 January 2007.

In the political and security cooperation, it’s seem that the EU is trying to enhance its profile in international fora. In this context we can see the EU involvement into conflicts in Middle East, Iran, Darfur as well as monitoring the general election in Aceh. With its modalities, the EU could maintain its role in maintaining political and security issues.

In this regard we should consider the revival of the EU power to influence the development of other regions which will cover issues among other are economic and trade as well as political and economic issues, principally for the developing countries

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