The advantages of the European Union lie mainly in providing the smaller European states a formidable platform to compete economically with the United States and other rising economic powers. For example, “in terms of shares of world GDP and trade, the EU and USA are highly competitive.” The second advantage of the union is that it aims to extend a “zone of peace, stability and prosperity in Europe.”
The clearest example is the fact that since the formation of the E.U., Europe has been mostly peaceful. The third advantage is that with economic clout, the grouping will increasingly have a greater say in global geopolitics. For example, more and more ex-dictators and mass murderers such as Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic are increasingly being prosecuted due to EU pressure and influence. The first disadvantage of the union is that because the EU works on “supranational and intergovernmental decision-making processes, decision makers are strongly influenced by regional or national perspectives.”
The second disadvantage is that national sovereignties yet remain a roadblock as many countries refuse to give up national symbols, such as the British refusal to give up the British Pound. The third disadvantage is that the newer, poorer member countries joining the union are a drag on the developed member states that raises the specter of large-scale migrations and making the union ungovernable. In my opinion, the EU is not likely to succeed in the long run as the attraction of the ‘Westphalian construct,’ issues of national identity, and individual ambitions of member countries will impede any further integration.