Entry 12

Is the EU falling apart? The latest media headline.

BBC journalist Mark Mardell wrote in June 2015 that ‘In my years as the BBC’s Europe editor, from 2005 to 2009, there was plenty of debate about the future of the European Union, but I never took seriously the idea that it might one day cease to exist. That no longer seems so fanciful.’

He continued: ‘How these traumas (Grexit and Brexit} are treated over the next few years will define what the EU becomes. It is just possible it will be on a terminal path to decay and disintegration’.

Mardell coined a new acronym – ‘EUex’ with ‘ex’ standing for existential crisis.

In New Zealand, a similar tone was struck by a columnist of the Australian Business Spectator who wrote (10.9.15):

‘What the Greek crisis and even the Ukraine crisis have not yet managed, the refugee crisis may well achieve: to plunge the European Union into an existential crisis. It exposes how far apart EU members are, and how egotistical they are prepared to act in the pursuit of their own national interests’.

The same concerns appeared (11.9.15) in the American newspaper Huffington Post, and in the American financial commentary Bloomberg Business where the headline (28.6.15) was ‘Euro Faces Existential Threat as Greece’s Membership in Jeopardy’.

But perhaps EU citizens and politicians can relax if they read Journal of European Public Policy (January 2015) which blames international media for the way it reports:

 ‘Detailed media content analysis shows that the international media was not just reporting on crises, it was framing challenges and setbacks to EU integration as existential threats’.

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