European decisions affect TU students

The European Union, an institution once unlikely to make the press on our side of the Atlantic, has become an increasingly common topic in American news.

A unique entity encompassing 27 states in a varying network of monetary, commercial and political unity, the European Union faces issues that are no longer exotic curiosities, but have immediate bearing upon American, and, indeed, upon Transylvania students.

Numerous issues confront the European Union. Whether it be the ever-present question of “defining Europe” (and the connected ideas of “the West” and “civilization”) that confounds expansion eastward, or the introduction of the equivalent of over $1 trillion in subsidies for debtor countries in the union by the European Central Bank (according to the ECB’s own numbers), decisions made on the European continent have ramifications for Americans.

Decisions by European powers to underfund their militaries leave American ships and American planes to do the grunt work for operations like Libya recently and Kosovo in the 1990s.

Decisions by European powers to restrict prescription drug sales and medical competition leave American patients to foot the bulk of the bill for research and development of new medicines and techniques.

Decisions by European powers to, as our conservative columnist will argue, exclude Turkey from the European Union may leave America with one fewer ally on an increasingly short list.

Alternatively, decisions by European powers to encourage openness within Europe have led to an unprecedented period of peace and stability on the continent, thereby allowing greater stability and freedom for the whole world.

Europeans have exemplified peaceful multinational cooperation and the power of diplomatic accords, and they have demonstrated to the world a commitment to ensuring the welfare of all people, from the domestic poor to the oppressed abroad, through humanitarian and diplomatic initiatives.

All of this matters for Transylvania students.

A European Union that defaults military obligations to the United States is one that launches our peers and friends into wars in foreign lands, seas and air. A European Union that limits the profitability of American innovation inflates the cost of technological progress and medical care for increasingly cash-strapped Americans, including us and our parents.

Perhaps more directly, a European Union that promotes peace abroad is one that ensures study-abroad opportunities exist for Transylvania’s numerous students who study on foreign soil.

In sum, though the European Union often seems a distant and complex issue, it in fact relates directly to numerous concerns for Transy students.

The Rambler did not have a liberal columnist this week.


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