La misión secular de Europa

La economía y la política han sido aliados incómodos en el proceso de unificación europea. Desde que las industrias europeas del carbón y del acero se fusionaron en un intento por evitar guerras futuras en el continente, el "proyecto europeo" frecuentemente se ha apoyado en los intereses económicos para impulsarse hacia adelante. Ahora, sin embargo, los nuevos miembros se adhieren principalmente por razones políticas y geoestratégicas. El cambio de motivación exige ajustes en la imagen que tiene la Unión de sí misma, ajustes que van más allá de las ideas que están circulando actualmente en la convención que redacta una constitución para la UE.

Por supuesto, la prosperidad económica que la unificación europea ha generado atrae a los nuevos miembros, pero la atracción que ejerce la UE va mucho más allá de las cuestiones económicas. La Unión es asimismo una enorme zona gobernada por leyes, algunas de las cuales se refieren a la producción y los intercambios comerciales, pero también por otras que establecen y protegen los derechos individuales.

Debido a eso, los vecinos de la UE se han sentido atraidos magnéticamente a esta zona de paz y prosperidad. La primera ampliación, en 1973, incluyó a Inglaterra, Irlanda y Dinamarca, y se basó principalmente en consideraciones económicas. Pero todas las oleadas subsiguientes de expansión tuvieron como motivación principal, si no es que única, razones políticas.

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