The E.U. has met the main goal of forming a European community to end the inter-European wars that were devastating.
Although many languages and customs need to be kept in mind when the E.U. has meetings technology has helped communication go smoothly, much more smoothly and civilly than in the U.S.A.'s Senate or House of Representatives.
A working democracy requires articulate diplomacy, a desire of the majority to find common workable solutions to common problems and time to communicate sufficiently with citizens whether they be working people, stay at home moms, leaders, in other words: everyone. Time and patience are required.
In general the populations in European countries have not declined because the refugees and immigrants forced out of their countries in Africa and the Middle East have landed in Europe in droves due to English-American foreign and trade policy decisions, for example, the wars against Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Ethiopia, etc. The most damaging trade policies have been in concert with oil companies, the most egregious example being the hell created by Shell in the Niger Delta.
My point being people from all over the world in great numbers have ended up in Europe. Most of these are young men whose parents don't want to see dead before their time. These young men are hard working, fast learners and intelligent. They are fully capable of becoming a successful workforce to make up for the 'end of bloodlines' in some countries. Italy is an example of nonacceptance of reality and is only hurting itself. Most Italians seem to have no problem displaying their racism openly and meanly in their cities and their airports. When the Italians are forced to embrace the "foreigners" as their new middle class the process of caring for the elderly will be able to continue.
Subsidies are a problem in the E.U. but not in the way you present them. For instance, Spain olive tree farmers used money from the E.U. to organize excellently to produce and export their olive oil. I have seen high quality Spanish olive oil sold more cheaply than the same product here in Crete. (Crete provides a huge amount of olive oil to the world market.) Some projects work some don't, that’s true. But when something works; a good model for others has been established.
Another point on farm subsidies, instead of using the money to subsidize the same poor way of continuing agricultural practices, all that needs to be done is to switch gears and do away with the corporate model of farming. In order to sustain food growing capacity the E.U. can use subsidies to rejuvenate and protect soils and incorporate good water management practices. The E.U. is continuing to have great success in developing better soil and water management. practices. How long will farmers need to adapt to a new way of doing things? The young farmers are adapting ahead of the E.U. so I’m optimistic.
Some dismiss smaller countries such as Bulgaria and Romania; isn’t this a bit racist? The citizens of both countries are facing an uphill and difficult battle with no doubt about their problems. But their scientists are still working with other European scientists to find solutions. Their students are still studying in European universities and developing lasting ties with other European students. This would not be possible without the formation of the E.U. And northern Europeans and southern Europeans are getting together every day to solve technical, scientific and educational obstacles. Due to these cooperative enterprises northern Europe has to shake off its arrogance towards the south in order to get any work finished.