Hello people. How many of you know why the European Union exists? What is its aim? Wait, before continuing with this blog article it is necessary to explain something: this article doesn’t have any intention of being political. It’s all about history and facts. Therefore, Brexit won’t be mentioned – except for stating that it won’t be mentioned.
Let’s go back to basics. The 20th Century was a century characterized by major changes, interspersed by two of the most violent conflicts the world has ever witnessed. At the end of WWII, some of the states involved in it, in order to prevent new conflicts among “neighbours” decided to create a supranational foundation able to make future wars unthinkable.
The European Union we know today stems from numerous treaties that followed that intention, treaties that established the fundamental rights of the EU and its pillars. Over the years the European Union, an organization initially consisting of 6 countries (Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg), was joined by other states, eventually reaching 28 members.
Among the major achievements and foundation of the European Union is the freedom of movement of people, services, goods and capital. This simple change made all the difference in shaping the European Union as we see it today. Indeed, allowing people to cross the borders from their own nations, to live and work in other countries, helped in the achievement of the initial aim of easing the relationships among European countries and preventing wars. The unthinkability of a war between neighbours became more and more common thanks to such exchanges.
To encourage these exchanges between people of different countries, several programs have been launched, like the popular Erasmus project. Thanks to this, the youth of Europe has had the possibility to enrich itself through studying and working while embracing other cultures, which has played a fundamental role in the creation of a feeling of belonging that, also in the mind of the founding fathers of the EU, would have helped in maintaining a peaceful Europe.
Despite what your own opinions regarding this institution might be, the importance that it has had in the political, cultural and historical configuration of today’s Europe and its citizens is undeniable.
Maria Chiara Strano