2014: A Challenging Year for the European Union

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
Place of publication
Brussels, Belgium
Date of Publication
March 2014
Number of Pages
4
Licence
All rights reserved.
Series

On 1 January 2014 Latvia became the 18th member of the eurozone and Bulgarian and Romanian citizens finally got the right to work throughout the EU. Neither of these events gave rise to much enthusiasm. Even though the eurozone crisis does no longer dominate the European agenda, it is far from solved and many citizens are in doubt whether Latvia will prove to be a valuable asset to the still troubled euro area. Others fear migration streams from south east Europe adding to the economic and social problems in their countries. With the elections for the European Parliament coming up in May optimism is hard to find among those who believe in the European project. If even less citizens go to the polls than in 2009 (turnout: 43%), the legitimacy of the European Parliament and in its slipstream the rest of the European institutions is at stake. But that is not the only danger; the other being that more seats than ever before will be taken by Eurosceptic parties, which could sabotage any progress for the next five years.