The EU, the greatest thing since sliced bread

When Austria joined the EU almost two decades ago, I can still remember the endless praising of the parties in favor of joining and the endless cursing of the parties opposed to a future within the union. Arguments went from ” the only thinkable future” to ” we will be the slaves of Brussels”

I must say I voted for the EU and have never agreed with all they have done. I oppose a lot of the bureaucracy; and am still extremely pissed at brussels for punishing Austria for a government we had ten years ago. Yes they were on the right side (although less than the french or italian right) and one can agree or disagree with their politics (I disagree) nevertheless as long as the democratic vote was according to the constitution, one has to accept the government as legal representation of said country, whether one likes it or not. Only accepting the results of a democratic election, when it suits ones interests kills the concept of a democracy. This would be like promoting the freedom of the press and speech, but only if you like what is being said or written. Some principles must remain unchallenged.

So let´s agree that I don´t always see eye to eye with the European Union. Nevertheless I think it was the better choice for all parties involved as well as for all countries involved. Austria, due to Its geographical position, combined with its historical affiliations as well as en extremely high quality of life and a good infrastructure has been one of the biggest profiteers of the EU although we are one of a few countries to pay in more than we get out. And even those countries whose direct profit has been less than ours… none took damage from being within the EU. Those that are now suffering all crafted their problems on their own time by themselves maybe using the EU as a scapegoat but never a thing that would survive any diligent examination.

Now why do I love the EU with all it´s faults?

Democracy and Peace!

The democratic part might not be as transparent at first, and the european leadership (Comission) is in my eyes highly undemocratic bullshit; but ; the european parliament is starting to grow a pair and a big one at that. I´ll write a separate article about this.

The peace part is the more important one. And if this was the only good thing about the EU I´d still be a fan.

I had this discussion over and over again with friends before the EU won the peace prize. Most sent me direct links the moment it was announced.

Europe over millennia was constantly war ridden. From the early conquerors to the battles over who gets to be king in what country, the  30 year war, the 100 year war, napoleon, WW1, WW2 and finally the Yugoslav civil war. We have had wars and wars on end. including genocides mass executions, torture and bombings. Times where all rights were taken and only the strongest or most powerful strived.

Both sides of my family lost most of their belongings in the second world war. They fled and survived through quite some hardships. Others were not as lucky. The cruelty and insanity of war is something, one tends to see as far away in a distant past that does not affect us anymore. Don´t kid yourself war can always be around the corner and one does not need to look further than the border of the EU to find megalomaniac despotic rulers in charge of huge countries.

If I had told you in 1950 that France and Germany would one day be the best friends you would have laughed in my face. An yet today their politics and infrastructure go hand in hand.

The European Union has woven a net within its member states that has rendered animosity all but impossible. Companies have merged across borders, political parties cooperate on a european level, The EURO has linked many an economy with one another. Most borders within the EU are open and well travelled.

Being part of the EU is as close to a 100% guarantee of peace as one can get. The last traditional powder keg in Europe (the Balkan) is also slowly being absorbed into this union and whether the different countries joining agree with all european policies or not, they can be certain of one thing. The EU would never let a member country attack another. And I for one would love it if my generation was not the first and last to never have to witness a war.

Peace!

RZ

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