With the upcoming UK referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU; a continuing crisis in the Eurozone; and the ongoing debate on migration; the future of the EU is one of the most important issues in UK and Cornish politics.
If we consider the need for a sustainable society the EU falls down on two issues: economic growth and population.
The EU is wedded to economic growth which is incompatible with a sustainable society. The neo-liberal agenda of the EU is designed to facilitate economic growth in every way it can.
Population. The EU generally regards population growth as a good thing. Indeed it is a major driver of Germany’s aim to allow refugees from Syria to settle in the country to boost the labour force and economic growth.
One of the EU’s objectives is the free movement of people which again has implications for a sustainable society. How can a country, a region plan for a steady state society if it cannot control population movement?
In theory the EU could provide the framework for creating a more sustainable society. Co-operation is essential in working towards that goal whether in terms of energy policy, environmental policy and economic policy. The world is after all inter-connected, none of us are isolated from what happens elsewhere.
The question is can the EU become an organisation that can move forward?