Edit Bauer: Egoism can be counterproductive in the EU

Edit Bauer is Slovak politician of Hungarian ethnicity. She serves as Member of the European Parliament with the Magyar Koalíció Pártja. Since the 2009, Edit Bauer is a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia.

What issues are important to you in Europe?

The project of European integration was built on different basis after the Second World War. Main goal was to pre-empt another war conflict through transnational control of coal and steel mining. Since then European cooperation has developed into present form. However in my opinion, the most important result is the fact that Europe in not in threat of war anymore and that platform for cooperation of European countries exists.

Due to globalization we have to face problems, that didn’t exist sixty years ago. Continuing deepening of integration brings us new challenges that need solutions. It is really difficult to name few fields that are important to me in Europe.  For example, I find job creation as important as struggle against human trafficking. All challenges have to be handled together.

What annoys you most about Europe?

Rapid progress of integration, large number of member countries and their reluctance to give up sovereignty in certain areas caused over-bureaucratization of the EU. It might take years to enforce one bill and due to excess of actors playing role in legislature, final law might be wholly different from the previous one. Of course, multilevel control – European Commission represents Europe, European Council represents member countries and European Parliament represents citizens- brings undisputed advantages, but we need more flexible decision-making in this quickly changing world.

Do the young people in Europe have a chance for a good life?

In comparison with other parts of the world, European youth have disproportionally bigger chance to assert themselves. Current economic crisis causes big obstacles for their efforts and some member states indicate very alarming youth unemployment rates. Nevertheless we don’t underestimate struggle against this problem and it is one of the most important priorities in Europe.

What do you think about the role of Slovakia in the European Union?

Todays twenties know only from movies how the life, studying, shopping and travelling in the middle Europe was thirty years ago. For the generation that had a chance to experience these years on own skin is todays open Europe – and the fact that we are part of it – amazing result. However these positives brought new challenges. We still lag behind Western Europe in development of economy and it is also connected with lower standard of living of our citizens.

The aim of small countries, such as Slovakia, is to work hard to diminish regional differences throughout Europe as fast as possible. But from broader perspective we can see that strong egoism in Europe can be counterproductive in long-run. Countries, like China, India and Brazil, gain important positions in the world policy and our small country can’t compete them. We can find our prosperity only through joint success of Europe in the world.

Photo: © European Union 2012 EP/Pietro Naj-Oleari, available under a Attributtion-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

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