In terms of trade, there are various national security concerns which manifest themselves and become important issues for institutions such as the European Union. Given the collective power and nature of the European Union, a paramount attribute of maintaining stability within the union itself is in the preservation of trading between nations and the continued capacity of these countries to interact. As such, individual security concerns for each country are often detriments to the Union as a whole because it can directly result in a collapse of proper resources or stability of the trade commissions that are set in place by the union as a whole. (McCormick, 2007) National security issues can prove to be crippling to transnational commerce, especially in the notion that some countries rely on others for particular imports or exports. (Federiga, 2010)
In this case, particular issues of national security may increase the price of goods or services for other countries which will in turn cause an imbalance in the economic side of an institution such as the European Union. (Wilkinson, 2007) Foreign direct investment can also be limited to the countries which have national security threats or issues and aid or government bargaining from allies can be restricted as well, if they prove to be complementary to the issues that are occurring for the countries that are undergoing these security issues. (McCormick, 2007) Preferential agreements that are made within the EU can be relinquished if particular conditions are met within the country or as a result of the way in which the markets are aligned in these nations. As such, issues of national security are directly relevant to the concerns that can arise as a result of national security threats.
There are many concerns which can be seen from the European Union allowing countries bordering Russia to join its ranks, but there are also many positives that can be taken away from an instance such as this situation occurring. One of the principle attributes in discussing and understanding conversations such as this is analyzing the effects that allowing these nations to enter into the European Union could have on security concerns within the EU. (Barnard, 2010) The disadvantages from allowing this to occur reside in many concerns. Primarily, there is the issue of the dissemination of wealth between countries and the implications this may have on taxation and trade agreements if a country which isn’t necessarily capable of supporting itself in this new system is integrated. Larger countries such as Germany often times have to share what wealth they have with smaller, lesser countries. (Barnard, 2010) As a result of this, it prevents countries which may otherwise have the capacity to become leaders from doing so. This in turn could contribute to the growth of Russia’s overall influence, given that they are not in the EU. Furthermore, there are obvious security concerns with expanding the European Union so closely to a nation like Russia. If one of the bordering nations were to be invaded, it would require the involvement of the European Union if they were in fact allied.(Wilkinson, 2007) Some distinctions that could occur positively revolve around many of the rights that would be guaranteed to the country entering the union. Primarily, they would be able to retain their culture and sense of identity and a common currency between the nations would help to bolster trade and economic stability. Furthermore, taxation on imports and exports would decrease, allowing these countries potentially blossom under the jurisdiction of the European Union. (Rifkin, 2005) As a result, it could largely be seen as both a benefit and a detriment to allow these buffer states entry into the European Union.
While it can be said that there are various benefits to integrating as many nations as possible into an institution such as the European Union, there are many factors to consider on such a decision. In attempting to regulate an institution such as the European Union, these factors often give rise to various concerns about the capacity for each of these nations contained within the union to exhibit peace with one another. Given the history of the European continent and many of the issues and conflicts that have developed between the more powerful nations over the years, it is often the case that two greater nations will act upon a general inclination towards conflict from another nation. (Federiga, 2010) This in turn results in destabilizing peace and the regions around them. In this sense, the European Union often has the capacity to quell the potential engagements of the other powers within the union but what of countries that do not accept the union as their primary representative, such as Russia? In this instance, the existence of buffer states is imperative. These areas act as borders between nations, often set aside directly as a sort of pact of non-invasion. (Smith, 2007) In the event that a power on either side of these countries decides to invade it, then it is the case that both rival powers will enter into conflict. (Federiga, 2010) This has curbed many potential conflicts in the past such as those during the Cold War. Such countries as Romania, Czechoslovakia and Hungary were forced into becoming a sort of buffer zone for the Soviet Union in the sense that if any other nations entered into these areas there would be immediate military conflict between them and Russia. (Yesilada, 2009) Because of this, the lines of the European Union should extend only so far as to prevent the immediate militarized conflict between them and whichever powers also occupy similar areas within the vicinity of the states in question.
- Barnard, Catherine (2010). The Substantive Law of the EU: The four freedoms (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 447
- Federiga, Bindi, ed. (2010). The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe’s Role in the World (2nd ed.).Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
- McCormick, John (2007). The European Union: Politics and Policies (5th ed.). Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
- Rifkin, Jeremy (2005). The European Dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream. City of Westminster, London: TarcherPerigee.
- Smith, Charles (2007). International Trade and Globalisation (3rd ed.). Stocksfield: Anforme Ltd.
- Wilkinson, Paul (2007). International Relations: A Very Short Introduction (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 100.
- Yesilada, Birol A. (2009). The Emerging European Union (5th ed.). Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.