2014: A Challenging Year for the European Union

2014: A Challenging Year for the European Union

Europe
Mar 12, 2014 by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
Place of Publication: Brussels, Belgium
Date of Publication: March 2014
Number of Pages: 4

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.

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