Without doubt, the European Union (EU) is an economic powerhouse bloc that is directly responsible for much of Europe's recent development and stability. However, per the continent's socio-political standing, challenges exist in the form of a rising far right, migration and long term defense.
Europe and its many former colonial powers therein face a defining era brought to wrought by the continent's responsibility to humanity to house refugees of conflict and of economic circumstances, whether or not from former colonies.
Yet, because of the EU's inefficiency to successfully spread empathy to migrants among its various members, xenophobic fears have spread from Hungary, to Italy, to Germany, to Austria, to the Netherlands, to France, to Belgium, to Poland, to Spain, to the Czech Republic, to Sweden and to elsewhere within and outside the EU.
A migration crisis that has witnessed tens of thousands of refugees from Iraq and Syria along with economic refugees from Africa, to enter onto European soil, has inflamed too many Europeans, who display little or no empathy to the unfortunate victims of circumstances.
As a result, right wing groups have re-risen on the continent and they continue to make large inroads into governments based upon the increasing presence of migrants within their nation states - Germany, Italy, Hungary, Austria and now Sweden, are prime examples.
With regards to defense, while NATO remains the best constant to European security in light of continuing Russian meddling on the continent, Europe has to enhance its support of NATO - budgetary and otherwise, with a view to the organization's continued function in lieu of any decrease United States (US) involvement.
Despite the challenges, the EU remains very strong based upon its economic performance and its impeccable commitment to fighting Climate Change.
So when EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers his state-of-the-union address before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Wednesday, September 12, among other things, he could define the EU's path to tackling current challenges with a view to greater integrations within the union.