Vicki Birchfield told classes the EU was created to achieve peace in Europe. / Image by Joe McAdory
Why should the Eurozone and its financial crisis be important to you?
Dr. Vicki L. Birchfield, Associate Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech and Co-Director of the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies, took time out to discuss the history of the European Union, the Euro and its role on the global economy, Wednesday afternoon in Dr. Beverly Marshall’s Multinational Finance Management classes.
Birchfield, an Auburn alumnus with degree in political science, explained that the Eurozone crisis has American impact, “because our economies are so intricately connected and have been since the second World War. The United States and Europe represent 50 percent of the global GDP.”
The Eurozone is an economic union of 17 of the European Union’s 27 states. The financial crisis has created a situation where some Euro nations – specifically Greece, Cyprus and Portugal – have extreme difficulty paying their own debt without having to refinance through third parties.
Where did the European Union come from?
“The ashes of World War II,” Birchfield said. “The European Union is actually a peace
project. The economy is a means to achieve a political end, which was peace.”
Birchfield explained the EU, and its financial market, was established on shaky ground due to numerous social and cultural barriers, and diverse economies between the nations. Individual domestic policies also come into play, she said.
“But I don’t think the EU will collapse,” she said. “It has achieved its truest goal, which is peace.”
Birchfield also spoke Tuesday on the European Union at the Auburn University Student Center, was keynote speaker at Tuesday night’s Pi Delta Phi banquet, and addressed Dr. Charlotte Sutton’s Organizational Behavior class Wednesday afternoon.
She will speak at 12:30 p.m. Thursday to Dr. Peter Stanwick’s International Management class, and will offer a 3:30 p.m. lecture at 1203 Haley Center on “The Status of Women in Europe and the United States: A socio-economic and political comparison.”