Differentiation in the European Union Integration Process

2146 WordsJun 19, 20189 Pages
“From time to time it is worth reminding ourselves why twenty-seven European nation states have come together voluntarily to form the partnership that is the European Union.” 1 Europe has a history of war and conflict that predates living memory and the idea of a united Europe is something that appears repeatedly in that history. Hitler, Napoleon, and the many Roman Emperors all sought a united Europe. Their quests although in many ways motivated by a horrifying desire for power sparked the minds of philosophers and other political thinkers to imagine Europe united in harmony and peace despite national differences. Today we have the European Union which is quite unique. After the horrors, bloodshed, and economic disaster of the…show more content…
Therefore, member states are making a great effort to be a part of this group so that they to will continue to move forward and not be left behind. In such cases differentiation allows for more efficient integration and acts as a motivation for further integration.5 This is also seen in enhanced cooperation. Enhanced cooperation makes it possible for a group of at least eight member states to integrate further than the treaties require of them so long as it remains open to the other member states, and aims to further the objectives of the Union. The group can use the Union’s institutions and mechanisms in order to do this. Recently, ten countries were attempting to develop a harmonized divorce law because the Union has been unable to agree on one. The problem with the divorce laws is in the case of couples who were born in different countries and can shop around for the best place for them to divorce. The European Union has been attempting to achieve a harmonized divorce law but Sweden has blocked it because it has very liberal divorce laws and fears unequal treatment based on gender.6 Austria, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain have decided to formally request the European Commission to launch the enhanced cooperation mechanism. This has allowed these countries to move past Sweden’s block of
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