C Shannon


The last decade has not been marked by tranquility. We have seen crisis after crisis shake international and national stability, all the while eroding from much longer scope phenomenon. It seems that every week, a new prediction of the collapse of the EU appears. However, the EU remains and seems to have expertly managed this most recent crisis. Now is not the time for the EU to sit on its laurels. Information gathering and analysis will be key in maintaining flexibility and vigilance in moving forward.

Though the last decade has been defined by instability and crisis, it has also been marked by highs and lows. We have had optimistic respites and recovering markets. We are not currently in such an optimistic respite; Syria, Ukraine and the refugee crisis make that self-evident.

However, EU has done well recently and managed to salvage the best of a bad situation. They’ve done a lot to (at least be perceived as) getting out in front of the migrant crisis, even to take a strong arm with detractors (who, to their credit of countries like Poland, didn’t throw up as many road-blocks as they might have.) Germany, France and the EU institutions have, perhaps, the best public track records globally on this situation. This is a huge win considering the popularity of the issue at present.

This is not enough. The day may be won, but the war is not over; the crisis is not resolved and in order to continue winning the issue, the EU will need to remain vigilant and respond quickly to problems as they arise. This requires two strengths not traditionally possessed by the EU: speed and flexibility.

The nature of government is to move slowly, hence the term “bureaucratic speed”. The EU, being a consensus fueled machine that operates in the space between said governments doesn’t help the matter. That it takes committee after committee and batteries of consensus to make any decision makes the EU seems like a particularly slow glacier, who is actively looking for an excuse not to get to it’s ex’s engagement party in heavy traffic.

The more ambivalence causing trait of the two is the EU’s flaws is it’s often dogmatic decision making. As a whole, I celebrate the EU’s unwillingness to compromise it’s principles, even when it presents a disadvantaged to more pragmatic competitors.

In this situation, and in most crises, these disadvantages must be mitigated if the EU is going to find a effective and timely solution. In order to support this endeavor, the EU will require excellent information capacities. Information is the key factor in identifying and addressing situations as they emerge rather than as it breaks to the public.

The EU must also juggle its dogma with effective decisions. Acting quickly means nothing if the action is without finesse. The EU should consider all avenues first and eliminate undesirable actions second, rather than shut off roads of thought before exploring them– in case they reveal desirable and acceptable outcomes.

The EU has done a lot right so far; however, if they lose momentum by tripping over their own feet or grow complacent, they will fail to capitalise on success and render is all for nothing.



Apologies for a lack of article last week. I was unwell and opted to rest.


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