EU relevant in United States

by Martin Jaakola

While it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with what’s happening locally and on the University of Minnesota campus, I’ve noticed a rather upsetting trend among my peers.

Many have a strong view on campus diversity efforts or the (already?) upcoming 2016 presidential race, but few, if any, have an opinion on the current negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, for example.

Living in an increasingly globalized world means that we can enjoy the benefits of open trade with other countries. However, we must also live with the consequences that such openness can reap.

The recent financial crisis, which also affected many European countries, should remind us of the reciprocal effects that our interconnected economies can produce on each other. Moreover, negotiations such as TTIP, if they are passed, could threaten local jobs in Minnesota — especially in the renewables sector and in agriculture.

Having attended the first annual “European Student Conference” at Yale University last week, I agree with the main message presented by its keynote speaker, Pascal Lamy, who stated that each generation has its own political problems.

Our generation does not have to live with the same problems as others, such as World War II. As a result, it’s up to us to determine what we want out of the future of the EU and its relations with the U.S.

Even if it’s as simple as taking one political science course or staying updated with publications such as “The Economist,” I urge everyone to consider the importance of politics outside of your local spheres. Small decisions have a larger impact in our globalized world than ever before.