Fifty years after taking the first step towards European integration aimed at establishing peace and preventing the occurrence of another destructive war, now the first signs of failure and cracks are appearing in this union that has been considered the most successful case of regional integration in the world. The critical questions are posed regarding the future of euro and even that of the EU. A grim scenario is presented here, which even considered less probable, it may make us pondering again about the nature of politics among nations.

Monetary union launched in 1999, was a turning point in the process of integration. But now it has become the Achilles' heel of the EU. The crisis in the eurozone largely due to existing imbalances within it is a danger threatening the mere existence of the EU. It is often overlooked that the great winner of the game is in fact Germany, an export champion, having found a big market for its products. Its exports to its Southern weaker partners were facilitated by EU low interest loans given to countries such as Greece leading to their huge sovereign debts. Greece with its 350 billion $ debts has become the symbol of EU members grappling with grave economic problems. But it is not the only country with such heavy debts, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy are facing similar problem. In other words, wealthier and more powerful nations use the union to serve their own interests.

It seems that financial aid packages and austerity measures prescribed for redressing the problem cannot be much effective. In fact, spending cuts, tax increases and contraction lead to more economic stagnation and reduction in economic growth, making repayments more difficult. Many experts while emphasizing economic stimulus do not consider such measures as effective in preventing the bankruptcy of indebted countries and saving euro.  As The Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) mentioned in its latest report: "Making euro survive in the longer term needs that countries to be sufficiently competitive to have some economic growth to be able to pay off their debs".

On the other hand, European public opinion accuses their leader of incompetency. In Southern part of Europe, people are dissatisfied with the austerity measures leading to lower purchasing power, higher unemployment and cutting welfare benefits, and believe that why they should pay the price of leaders' incompetency. Also, in Northern countries, people protest that they should not carry the burden of giving aid to indebted countries which have been trapped in this situation due to their lack of financial discipline. A system created by Europe for greater integration has failed to attract the public.  Nobody is satisfied with the present situation.

Evidently, there are divisions not only among three major European countries, namely, the U.K., France and Germany over the policies, but also within continental Europe regarding the leadership of France and Germany. In addition, non-confidence to political elites in EU countries is now a prevalent phenomenon and it is expected that we witness growing political and social tensions in the old continent. History teaches us that in time of crisis, nationalist sentiments and protectionist tendencies tend to increase. Nowadays, extremist parties in both right and left camps opposing the EU are gaining more popularity.

According to the latest news, the credit ratings of nine EU countries including France have been downgraded, an issue that makes the future of the EU dimmer. Under these circumstances, major powers within the EU considers posing new sanctions against purchasing Iranian oil, but this decision would be harmful for Southern countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy which are the biggest importers of Iran's oil and considered the most vulnerable against any shock in oil markets. This makes clearer that stronger countries use the EU in line with their own interests.

This situation faces us with some serious questions. Are the divisions increasingly deepening within the EU?  Was not that the Great Depression a reason for the growth of nationalistic sentiments in pre WWII Europe leading to a destructive war?  Do we witness once again the repetition of history? Is it a fact that a union established for preventing war, now is fostering once again the grains of a new war or at least return to a Europe based on national self-interest and identity? These are questions which only the future will bring answers to them.