This fine morning I have some time at hand. And while I was going on about politics and Aunty SPD yesterday, today I want to share a few facts about Europe, more specific about the European Union.
Here in Germany, many people voice their severe criticism about the EU (short for European Union). For it’s comparatively little direct democracy. For its tardiness with laws and regulations and coming to decisions. For its sometimes crazy regulations (like stipulating the curve, bananas need to have or how straight a cucumber must be to meet European trade regulations). For the unwillingness of other members to join in with German ideas (like taking in refugees or reforming their own countries, to name just a few). For its general lack of direct democracy and the seemingly huge ogre of bureaucracy, nobody seems to really be in the know of.
And many are scared, that it might break up all together. Now, that the British people are leaving (stupid of them, in my humble opinion). And some members (Polish and Hungarian governments foremost, but France was also in danger and Austria soon will be, I fear) being led by governments, that reign with principles not so well compatible with what the EU stands for. Upping their ugly, nationalistic heads again.
However, I am a fierce defender of the European Union. Let me give you some good reasons for this, please.
- Looking back at Europe’s pre-EU history, one stumbles over wars. All the time. Horrible wars over centuries, if not a chiliad, culminating in the worst kind of wars, humankind ever saw: WW I + WW II. The European Union is a peace project, foremost. My generation is the first one to never have experienced war at all. That can not be said for my parents and grandparents. And all the way back through history, I don’t think, there was a single generation at all, that has had that luxury. For this alone I am so grateful, that I can take a lot of other stuff, that might not be perfect about the EU into my stride.
- I love the thought, that I can visit, live and work anywhere within the EU without trouble, red tape and restrictions. In fact, I have already moved countries, being granted almost every right, real citizens of my new home country have. And I could have them all, if I decided to take on their citizenship.
- I appreciate the joint standards in law and justice, enforcing an evironment, individual citizens and businesses are granted a certain amount of law and order. Bad wording to use, but this is what best describes security.
- I love the idea of solidarity. Of slowly growing together, the stronger helping out the weaker ones. This is, what makes societies and states function everywhere. Same here in Germany, where there are equalisation transfers within the federation. With Bavaria and other successful States sharing their profits to help out poorer Federal States like Berlin. So why get upset, that we help out Greece on a bigger scale? What is there to gain of failing states?
- Big projects need bigger structures. Like saving the environment. Or help the so called third world on a bigger scale than individual states could. Or running an international war crime court.
I think, these are all pretty good reasons to keep and support the European Union. Plus very good reasons to pay even a big amount of money toward it every year (as is the case for the richer EU members like Germany). And if the EU members would start to send their best politicians to work for the EU rather than all those, they have no real use for at home, lots of the stuff of the inner workings of the EU critcised with some reason would maybe sort itself out soon.