Central Europe Activ

The Economist Intelligence Unit has compiled a ranking of the peacefulness of countries, measuring both domestic and international violence. The results are very favorable for the EU. How do you interpret this?

First of all, the European Union was designed to create stable peace in a continent that had gone through the worst wars of mankind, through a millennium. I think this map shows that the EU has perfectly served its goal. The EU is also one of the wealthiest regions of the world, and the idea that economic unity and prosperity leads to a stable peace is hard to refute.

Secondly, it is visible, that the countries outside the EU are more violent. Does it mean that the EU has reached its natural boundary? I do not think so. Have they plotted this map 65 years ago, the EU would look the worst in the world. I think that those countries which were given the possibility to join the EU and were given time to adopt its aquis turned more wealthy and peaceful. Those countries that are not included in the integration are exposed to economic and territorial rivalry.

World Peace Index 2008.

I think the EU is a very well designed polity, and the process that leads to membership, from the Copenhagen criteria of democracy to the Maastricht criteria of economic responsibility has a good impact on the candidate countries. The balance of power between the EU, the nation state and the regions have led to a stable economic and social equilibrium.

I hope that people have many readings of this map. I think that this should reassure the people of Switzerland and Norway that this is a good club. (This two countries would make a particularly good enlargement round!) I feel that it is our responsibility to help Bulgaria. I also believe that the perspective of peaceful living should be lucrative enough for the people of Serbia, too.

I think non-European readers should also give federalism a second thought. The analysis is the particular data is also very interesting with the United States of America.

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  1. I think you jump too easily to conclusions.

    Maybe, just maybe… it has little to do with the EU that we in Europe are so peaceful. According to me, it has more to do with welfare and culture which in it’s turn define the way the EU operates.

    It is naivité to believe one only has to form federalism to have a more peaceful society. Remember Yuguslavia, remember the Soviet Union,…

    And on top of it: the countries who are in the EU the longest are the bad students of the class (France, Great-Britain, Spain). This in stark contrast with countries like Norway or indeed Switserland.

    And perhaps… now, this is a challenging thought, perhaps the Union also stimulates violence? I don’t know if you have been following the news around Italy? Where, if I am not mistaking, the hungarian PM Viktória Mohácsi made the comment that the gypsy camps in Italy were the worst she had seen in Europe. For in Italy raids on Roma, maltreatment and even killings of those European citizens has become daily news. This is an effect of the free movement of people throughout the EU.

    I am not against the EU, on the contrary. I believe it made us prosper more, brought more securities for peace and helped to flourish liberal democracy in Eastern Europe. However, jumping to the conclusion out of a rather simple fact (EU is peaceful) that federalism or even the EU is THE peacebringer… That is called naivité…

    perhaps read this paper first: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/sipa/U6800/readings-sm/Waltz_Structural%20Realism.pdf
    it’s a more realist approach to the reasons of peace in Europe.

  2. I do not think that federalism makes peace. I say that the EU such a well designed federation that it fulfills very well the goal it was formed to achieve: European peace. I think wealth is partly the consequence of peace. The Soviet Union or Yugoslavia were not really federations at all.

    Ms. Mohácsi is a Hungarian gypsy MEP. I think that the remarks she made in Italy might have been a bit rhetoric. Those gypsy people who are mistreated in Italy had actually moved there from Eastern Europe, especially Romania. So it may be even worse in these countries and it is truly a shame.

  3. Daniel – I assume that the United States (US)is painted orange (low state of peace)on the peace map because of its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. What color would the US be if the US pulled its troops out of Iraq but left its troops in Afghanistan?

  4. The peace in Europe has nothing what so ever to do with the EU. Old Europe is worn out with war, even to the extent that when one occurred on their doorstep, they failed miserably to do anything until someone else decided for them and stepped in.
    The EU is constantly trying to take this credit where it is not due, and even if they were responsible for the perpetual motion machine and the method of food production that would feed the world I will still be Anti EU, until the day and hour they decide to ask the people permission to go ahead with their unity building exercise. Until then it is undemocratic and in my eye illegal no matter what our bought and paid for politicians say.

  5. Contrafactual?
    Which country was the first to do anything about the war in the Balkans, you know the big one across the water that went in first, followed by the Europeans.
    I apologise for confusing you by not including the Balkans in old Europe as they were ‘committed’ to another Union for some time I foolishly left them out of my Old Europe or as I should have referred to it as free Europe, if I take out Spain until the mid 70’s or East Germany, what about Poland and the Baltic trio. Very confusing isn’t it.
    Jinkers the more you look at it the more you realise that Europe hasn’t really had but a few countries who haven’t been under someone’s heel, and are all new fangled to demcracy, no wonder they were keen to give it away so soon, they weren’t used to making their own decisions. As for me I live in a country that had a democracy of sorts for Oh, years and years now and I got used to it, so I don’t really like the thought of losing it to a bunch of corrupt communists who don’t really like the thought that the people should have any say in what they now to be exclusively their business.

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