When the European Union was first established, its founding fathers laid down the simplest of the principles, two of which were war free trade and minimum conflicts of the countries, apart from the obvious hope it derived amongst its members of increasing trade gains and rate of growth of their respective countries. But now, we see European Union globally expanded and strong enough to impact the economies of several nations, whose trade and economic conditions are far from simple. The founders underestimated the political forces shaping the decisions of the governments and their economies. The political forces that led the expansion of European Union in turn undermined the basic principle behind its formation – peace. European Union accounts for four-hundred-and-fifty members and functions in isolation from fantasy and is continually facing challenges and vis-à-vis causing conflicts among the member nations, the citizens of which now question the founding principles (Europa, 2006).
The famous founders of the European Union, such as German Chancellor Konrad Adenaeur and French Minister Schuman, have been recorded to give several speeches where they addressed the members of the European Union’s capabilities to minimize international conflict over trade and economic issues. But practically, they too were aware of how difficult it is, under political forces acting strongly, to maintain a peaceful and conflict-free economic relation between countries, globally. European Union’s principle was to create an open international market, with the hope to increase employment, and trade opportunities, whereby increasing the growth rate of the respective economies (Ford School, 2002). European Union was able to accomplish these, but then trade limitations were also present, which by far accounted for the major conflicts between the nations. This happens when one nation trades with the second, it takes protective measures against the second nation’s goods. This brings economic turmoil in the economy of the second nation which reacts by increasing its trade limitations against the first. The first nation has no choice now but to take up alternative options or respond with hostility. Thus, European Union’s concept of international market became responsible of trade wars between nations, which are far from peaceful (Ford School, 2002).
The countries like Germany, Great Britain, and Italy among many, now wonder how different would their economies be if they were not part of the European Union, which is strongly controlling their economies. The European Union, on the face of expansion, is filled with a troublesome internal structure, coupled with developmental fears. These fears and challenges include the piddling economic growth, free movement of labor, China and disgruntled environmental conditions. With European Union evolving its economic policy to focus on expansion and the above mentioned challenges, the countries that have long been a part of it are infused with the fears of instability, insecurity, irrational debates, and demagoguery and short terms of the European leaders (Europa, 2006).
The European Union’s basic principle was peace and war free trade and its constitution was formed with four goals: freedom of people, services, goods, and capital. But how Eurpoean Union has affected the economies of the countries that are its members, the situation is anything but as simple as the fore founders had intended it to be, the very aspect that puts the fear of entering into a big war over trade into the hearts of people residing in those countries.