No, the EU hasn't kept the peace in Europe since WWII
A quick survey of the historical facts makes a nonsense of the widely touted claim the EU has kept the peace in Europe since WWII. It is only since 2004, just 14 years ago, that the majority of European states were even members of the EU. Peace has been preserved by the US presence in Europe and NATO, the rest is Europhile fantasy land
It is hardly surprising that Donald Trump's Twitter feed gets so much attention. He is, after all, the President of the United States, and, like him or loathe him, he plainly has a sense for the bizarre.
But he's not alone, as anyone who follows Guy Verhofstadt -- the excitable former Belgian prime minister and currently the European Parliament's Brexit representative -- could testify.
In the last couple of weeks, he's been banging on a theme that is endlessly repeated in Brussels, and which is a stock in trade for ideological europhiles across the continent: "The future is Europe," he tweeted on February 10, "We almost destroyed each other during centuries of conflict. We have to cherish the peace the EU has brought us."
A week or so earlier, he used Holocaust Memorial Day to boast that the EU was a bulwark against a second Holocaust.
Ok. So, let's rattle this cage a bit. How about starting with some facts. Let's look at the extent to which the claim the EU has kept the peace since WWII stacks up.
1) World War II ended in 1945, yet the EU was not created until the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Why, for starters, was there not a war in the 12 years from 1945 to 1957? This needs an answer. If European nations were straining at the leash for conflict until the EU came along, how did they manage to behave themselves before it existed? (This is not a rhetorical question. See below.)
2) In 1957, only six out of more than 30 European nations became members of the EU. Indeed, membership of the EU proceeded incrementally over time. Denmark, Ireland and the UK did not join until 1973, bringing the number of EU states to just 9. Further small expansions happened in 1981 (Greece) and five years later (Spain and Portugal). Again, with only a minority (12 at this stage) of European nations inside the EU fold how can the EU have prevented war?
3) Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined in 1995, but it was not until 2004 (just 14 years ago) with the expansion into central and eastern Europe that the majority of European states were members of the European Union.
The notion that the EU has kept the peace since the end of World War Two is plainly ahistorical, but that does not stop EU apologists from repeating the mantra all the time.
It's a sign of a fatal weakness. If your edifice of existential validation is created out of a lie, it is only a matter of time before it crumbles.
Back in the world of real history, there is, of course, a credible line of argument which does explain why the peace has been kept in Europe since 1945.
After World War II, the continent was held in lock down, first by the allied armies, and then by the Cold War stand off between the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact and the American-led NATO alliance.
After the Cold War, the EU proved useless in containing and stopping the biggest set of European conflicts since WWII, the wars in the Western Balkans. It was only when the United States (backed strongly by Britain) stepped in that peace was subsequently restored.
Backers of the EU should reflect on all this, and stop telling lies about history.
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