Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Current Events - Status of the European Union

I'm sure if you never heard the word Brexit again, you'd be positively giddy. Here's a little refresher if you've happily forgotten about it. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of out of sight, out of mind on this issue.

As a college student, I naive thought I wanted to be in political communications. I saw myself like Sam Seaborn and Josh Lyman from West Wing. That's a bit hilarious now but I did do one smart thing then. I studied abroad, in Denmark. More specifically, I took a number of my political science courses abroad, focusing on the European Union.

Denmark always has and will likely always have an interesting relationship with the European Union. It is a member with some very important exceptions like currency, security and defense, police and justice and citizenship. This gave me a unique perspective on the European Union so when Brexit came up, I could see pretty clearly the potential global impact.

Even if you're not into politics, there are some reasons you need to pay attention to the current status of the European Union.

1. Allies - We can't forget that some of our biggest allies around the world are part of the European Union. If these allies lose their strength and standing in the world, we could up a creek.

2. Markets - The EU markets affect our markets. To put this in more concrete terms, thing about your retirement money, your investments, the value of your home and even your interest rates. All of these things could be affected by a dramatic and permanent shift in their markets.

3. Immigration - The immigration policies and the citizens stances on them are varied across Europe. For instance, Denmark has a very strict policy while it's neighbor Sweden has a very lax policy. As the rate of refugees and immigration continues to pick up around the world, these differences lead to a whole host of potential issues and not just for the EU.

Those three issues are more than enough for me to sit up and pay attention to what's going on in the European Union and it's fragile state. There are a number of elections across Europe this year and next. Many of them could change the country, the EU and even our lives.

Are you concerned about the current status of the European Union?

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