The biggest challenge facing cohesion is the differing goals, views, and values of the 27 member states. This is quite noticeable when observing the attitudes of the various member states towards topics like the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Huawei and China’s role in establishing a 5G network in Europe, and the New Green Deal. Regarding Nord Stream 2, the division is over whether or not the potential economic benefits outweigh the potential security risk of increased Russian presence in the EU. On the topic of Huawei and China, the debate is once again over the potential security risks of allowing China to play such a large role in establishing a 5G network in Europe. Finally, the Green Deal has divided Europe over its terms and conditions, particularly relating to funds.
All this being said, what is the role of the EU itself in these disputes? Should the EU establish a hivemind, where everyone thinks alike? Then this risks diversity, but if the EU allows the member states to have their own strong opinions and beliefs, they risk fragmentation and losing cohesion.
Policy Paper – Ryan Jacobsen, May 2020
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