Does the EU serve a purpose?

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Supporter Gary Robinson begins a series of blogs on whether the EU has a purpose in the modern world. He begins by looking at the aims of the EU and international affairs.

In order to assess whether the European Union serves a purpose, I began to seek out its objectives – a search that led to this website. It is full of vague platitudes about “partnership… stability and prosperity” but little in the way of specific, measurable goals.

The five main Europhile arguments seem to be;

  1. The EU has prevented conflict in Europe since World War Two. It claims “The EU has delivered half a century of peace”
  2. The EU aids in the fight against cross-border crime.
  3. The EU facilitates trade in Europe and works to remove barriers to international trade.
  4. The EU allows free travel for Europeans throughout Europe.
  5. The EU provides economic prosperity and stability for member states.

I will attempt to address each of these issues in turn on Get Britain Out.

Argument one: ‘The EU has prevented conflict in Europe since World War Two.’

This claim is perhaps the easiest to debunk. Firstly, with tongue firmly in cheek, the EU has only existed in its current form since 1993 when the Maastricht Treaty was signed; so hasn’t been around long enough to substantiate this claim.

So if The EU wasn’t responsible, what has maintained the peace?

Well, in order to prevent a third world war, the western countries after WW2 formed the United Nations or U.N. in 1945.

The stated purposes of the U.N. are:

“1.To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems”

To help achieve these goals, The U.N. has an ‘army’ of U.N. Peacekeepers, made up of 83,235 serving troops and military observers and 13,542 police personnel from member states.

The U.N. holds forums around the world, predominantly in its New York headquarters where the 193 UN member states (including Germany, France, Italy, The UK and the USA) can discuss issues that require international co-operation.

In addition to forming the U.N., another key organization was formed in 1949; The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO.

NATO is “an Alliance that consists of 28 independent member countries.”

The countries include Germany, France, Italy, The UK and the USA.

This is how they describe their mission:

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s fundamental purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

NATO brings together 28 member countries from Europe and North America, consulting and cooperating in the fields of security and defence.”

It is these two organisations that have preserved peace in Europe since WW2, not the European Union, which as I stated earlier was only created after these two bodies.

Therefore to imagine that leaving the EU will leave us internationally isolated is, frankly, rubbish.

Gary tweets @GaryjRobinson

Image: Flickr

NB: The accuracy of all supporter articles rests with them and not Get Britain Out. Supporter views are their own and Get Britain out may or may not share them.

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