The Building Blocks of Europe

Europe is about integration.   The idea of an integrated Europe is the idea of a utopia. Six hundred years ago, it seemed utopian for the peasants of Switzerland to be liberated from the power of the Hapsburgs and to unite in a Helvetian republic.  Five hundred years ago, the unification of France seemed utopian as did the unification of Spain with the expulsion of the Moors.  Four hundred years ago, the unification of England and Scotland into a united Great Britain seemed utopian, as did three hundred years ago the liberation of Hungary from Turkish domination.  Two hundred years ago, the restoration of Greece was thought utopian; a century and a half ago, the unification and restoration of Poland, Rumania, Germany and Italy seemed utopian.  Now the utopian ideal has extended to the creation of a united European house with the ever increasing unity of European individuals.

Today the common united house of Europe has a framework of a definite architectural design developed over time.  The phrase, the architecture of Europe refers to various organizations, treaties institutions and traditional relations making up the European area with which member states work together on problems of shared interests.  A significant part of the European architecture was established by the Treaty of European Union, which essentially has three pillars – the first being the European community, the second  the common foreign and security policy, and the third, cooperation in the fields of home affairs and justice.

Some states oppose a closer European union for personal benefit and expend great energy attempting to maintain the community as solely an economic area, others, the majority, wants to integrate more and deeper, believing that collective problems can be handled more optimally then when handled in the singular.  The latter want to have Europe speaking with a common voice, the former object to Europe having a voice at all.

Today, the framework allows some members states who wish to advance more quickly in certain fields to establish closer cooperation; they do so within the European Union in accordance with the conditions laid down in the founding documentation.   By far this is the prevailing consideration with member states today, the desire for greater harmonization.

Looking on the macro level, the  things happening in Europe are very interesting, never before in the history of mankind have so many been involved in integrating , doing it peacefully,  and to a great degree ,  successfully and doing it  by handling questions of common interest through an  established architectural framework. The member states gain much from their membership, and they realize that ‘taking’ is predicated on ‘giving’. The interaction  in Europe is pure and simple an organic model seen in interpersonal relations, some people are extravert, want to integrate, others are introvert and do not want to integrate, – this deference  can only be ameliorated through cognitive objective discussion , the reason for  the  various building blocks composing the European common architecture.

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