This week people across the South East have been observing Europe Day, an annual celebration marking the ‘Schuman Declaration’ when, on May 9, 1950, European governments determined to make war not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.
Yet despite 66 years of peace across the continent following this declaration, those pushing for the UK to leave the EU argue it is NATO, not the EU, which has kept the peace.
As Greens, we believe NATO was designed for a world of two hostile blocs and should have been abolished at the end of the Cold War.
This military alliance, based on the premise that to ensure peace you have to prepare for war, demands all members spend two per cent of their GDP on the military.
This feeds the arms trade which ultimately only profits from war, not peace.
The EU, on the other hand, actively works for peace within Europe and beyond its borders.
In recent months, The EU has been responsible for negotiating a breakthrough in Iran’s nuclear talks, a feat the US could not have achieved on its own.
Similarly, the European Parliament recently voted to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Peace is a condition achieved through determination and wilful action, not through the threat of military might.
The EU’s democratic nations working together can and do achieve this.
This year more than any other we would be wise to remind ourselves of the legacy of peace and prosperity the architects of the EU have left us and defend it by remaining a part of the EU.
Green Party MEP
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