Human nature is one important aspect of any social movement, because it is this feature that no economic forecast or political development could ever control. It is complex, unpredictable and occasionally becomes a destroying force.
Leaving aside the geopolitical circumstances, the European unity & peace project, later called the EU, was created one the basis of compromise and forgiveness. It may sound like a Wilsonian type of phrase, nevertheless, not only that it made sense at the time –after two catastrophic global wars- but it expressed people’s need to be reminded that the Good could prevail. It’s never easy to set aside the nationalistic factor that usually feeds the ego and leads to an escalation of intolerance towards ‘the others’. The ECC that later became the EU was a promise of establishing European values, such as social justice and democracy, that would erase nationalistic ambition in favour of all members of the ‘family’. It was promoted by visionary politicians, such as Schuman, Delors, Mitterand, Schmitt, that have witnessed the ashes left behind by the horrors of the race for world supremacy. It also meant rebuilding Europe also economically, nevertheless, the prospects of deeper integration were thought to be a long term careful process.
Looking back in history, one might conclude that the decision to establish a pan European project after WWII has proven to have been a 6 decade-long success story: economically and socially. The prospects of constant growth, cultural development, free trade and free movement, along with a good standard of living throughout the continents’ Member States seemed to have kept under control the monsters of lying inside human nature.
“The mere fact that Europe faces no major military threat nowadays (ed. note: 2012) could make the continent a victim to its own narcissistic differences”.