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The world is going down to flames. Meanwhile, in Europe...
Peace is Europe greatest achievement. In this conflictual world, it's time to remember its perks.
It would be an understatement to say that the world is going through a turbulent phase.
The war in Ukraine, overall destabilisation in Africa and the Middle East, tensions in the China Sea… And from last week, terrorist attacks in Israel and retaliation over Gaza. Let’s not forget the migration crisis around the Mediterranean.
This perilous situation happening all around Europe offers a stark contrast: Europeans are probably the safest people on earth today.
The biggest achievement of the European Union was the uninterrupted 70 years of peace that we enjoy today—the longest peace period ever on the Continent.
I’m not saying that the EU is without its problems. But heated conflict is not one of them.
In this very short article, I will not attempt to explain the reason for the contrast between Europe’s safety and the disastrous state of the world. I will simply draw your attention to this very simple fact: Europe's main achievement is peace. And that’s something we should be proud of. That’s also an argument we pro-Europeans can use in the upcoming elections.
The benefits of peace
Peace has its perks.
First, peace saves lives. Have you ever been woken up at night by the sound of alarms, forced to shelter in the cellar of your building, or to find refuge in a shelter? I certainly didn’t. And yet, that’s the everyday lives of Ukrainians, just a few hours' flight from us.
Second, peace brings people together. When my grandfather was just a kid, he had to hide from the German soldiers wandering the fields of occupied France. A few years later, the local farm “hosted” a German war prisoner. Nowadays, I couldn’t care less if my neighbours were German. And I’m proud to have realised a video podcast with a franco-german friend just this afternoon (coming soon on YouTube).
Third, peace brings economic benefits. Businesses need stability to operate. Never do European citizens have to worry about power shortages. We have functioning welfare states, working hospitals, a thriving civil society, business opportunities… Sure, there are serious issues we have to solve. But we can worry about them because we solved this most pressing problem.
Peace is a way to reconcile voters with Europe
And that’s just a few of the benefits of peace that we Europeans take for granted. These are the benefits that but a fraction of the world can enjoy too.
The state of the world will be a theme of the upcoming European elections. Let’s show how great the European project is by reminding our families and our friends of these truths.
Europe is an island of peace in a world at war. Let’s preserve it, let’s reinforce it, let’s promote it.
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