Per decade, the series “Together we have built Europe” explains the challenges, constraints and progress as well as the projects that have marked the history of the European Union. Hafsa, who works for the European Commission Department in charge of European regional and urban policy, and her colleague Morten travel back in time to the 2010s.
This decade was characterised by the world becoming more interconnected as a result of digital technologies, and by events such as the Arab Spring, the Syrian Civil War, the Refugee crisis, the Russo-Ukrainian War and Brexit. In response to these events on its borders, the European Union developed a policy aimed at developing good relations with neighbouring countries and, in particular, maintaining peace and establishing trade relations.
Over the course of the decades, the EU was faced with ever more challenges. As the global financial crisis of 2008 had hit the EU hard, it had to get back on track and prepare for the years ahead. Within this scope, the Europe 2020 strategy was developed so as to improve the sustainable development indicators in terms of growth, innovation, education, employment and environmental protection, while increasing Europe’s competitiveness in the world market.
To take action in the fight against climate change, the European Union subscribedthe Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in 2015. In the same year, the Paris Agreement was signed at the COP21 summit in Paris. The objective of the Green Deal is to make the EU climate neutral by 2050!
With the accession of Croatia in 2013, the Union reached its maximum size with 28 member states, but this did not last long. In 2016, the United Kingdom decided by referendum to leave the European Union. While Brexit was planned and organised during the following months, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey became official candidates for membership. In addition, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Kosovo were recognised as potential candidate countries for accession.
At the end of this decade, the EU faced another challenge: the Covid-19 pandemic.
To be continued …