PEACE MYTH (CONTINUED): The concluding part of Newsnight’s European Dream series, presented by Gabriel Gatehouse, confirmed that this was based entirely on the EU’s own roseate version of its history. In reference to Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, the EU’s chosen founding fathers, he declared at the beginning of part three:
GABRIEL GATEHOUSE: Out of the ruins of war arose a vision of Europe.
ROBERT SCHUMAN 1950: It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.
GG: The founding fathers dreamt of ever closer union.
GEORGES BERTHOIN Jean Monnet’s Chief of Staff: All governments wanted to remain half free.
GG: The goal was peace. But also prosperity. What’s become of the European dream?
In the analysis that followed, Gatehouse explored the problems of the euro and described how it had helped Germany to achieve export-led growth but caused acute misery in Greece. He pointed out that the UK had opted out and the euro, and suggested that the current ‘rift’ within the EU was based on that Germany embraced enthusiastically the single currency (and the creation of the European Union at Maastricht), while the UK did not; there, it had ‘split parties’. He concluded:
It’s been more than 65 years since Europe set out upon a journey that has led to today’s complex union of 28 member states. But from the very beginning the founding fathers identified one country as key to the European project.
GEORGES BERTHOIN: We wanted to give Germany a path to recovering their sovereignty, with us, not against us. Making sure that the German recovery would not become a threat, but an asset. And this is what happened. It just happened that the most powerful country in Europe believes in Europe, the European dream.
GG: And so we are back where we were at the beginning of our series…Whatever you think about the post-war European project, its greatest achievement surely is this: that it does now seem inconceivable for any member of the union to take up arms against another. If the European dream is peace then the EU has succeeded. But as Europe struggles to find common responses to the crises of the 21st-century, it’s clear: the EU is today about more than peace. The question is, how much more? That’s the issue that now divides this continent.
So in Gatehouse’s book, the EU has unquestionably been a success in its primary purpose: the generating and maintaining peace. As noted in the previous blog on this series, this is pure EU propaganda. The reality is that Jean Monnet’s goal, as first expressed in the 1920s, was the pulling together – at any price – of the European countries under an undemocratic supranational authority (what became the Commission). He and his cohort wanted above all the creation of a utopian, socialist Europe. They saw that framing this is the name of ‘peace’ would make such an idea difficult, if not impossible, to resist. The corollary is that anyone who challenges the need for the EU is putting peace at risk.