I will present 3 or more reasons, citing textual evidence, that answer the essential question, what forces work for and against supranational cooperation among nations, and close with how it relates to today.
First, countries with similar goals tend to come together. As stated in section 3 of the text, “By joining together, members of the EU trade bloc have far more economic power than they would have acting alone.” This shows that members of the EU are brought together by economic goals. By joining the EU, they join an economy that is one of the best in the world. This is a major reason why nations join the EU. However, when they join the EU, nations give up some of their national identity, because they are adopting one international currency and essentially abolishing borders. On the other hand, the economy improves. So, when a nation joins the EU, they trade identity for prosperity.
Second, nationalism can tear alliances and regions apart. As stated in Section 4 of the text, “the EU encourages Europeans to think of themselves as citizens of Europe.” This is because, if citizens of individual countries became super nationalist, they would only want the best for their country and not think of the other EU nations, which would be very bad for the region. We can look at a modern-day example to show this. In January of 2020, Great Britain left the European Union. Why? In a poll of over 12,000 voters, one third said that the main reason they wanted to leave was that leaving "offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration and its own borders." This shows that when the citizens of countries become majority nationalists, it has major consequences for any region and alliances that they are a part of.
Third, economies can both bring together and divide nations. As stated in section 3 of the text, “In general, the Western European members of the EU are wealthier than those in Central and Eastern Europe. In an effort to bring all of its members up to the same level, the EU spends large sums of money on projects in its poorer nations.” This shows that a difference in how efficient nations’ economies are can cause big divides between those nations. However, the EU also helps the economy of its members significantly. It eliminates or reduces tariffs, thus increasing the flow of goods between countries. It eliminates “closed borders” allowing citizens to easily move between countries and be employed elsewhere. And the EU creates a trade bloc, which makes other countries eager to do business with EU countries.
All in all, there are many different intertwined things that work both for and against supranational cooperation. National goals can both bring together and rip apart alliances. So can nationalism, as we have seen before. Additionally, economics can affect alliances as well. This connects to today because nearly all of this stuff is current. We are still trying to work with other countries. If we continue to successfully do this, much prosperity can follow for the world.