The European Union

The European Union is rapidly moving towards being a country in its own right. Some people are still resistant to the idea, but attitudes are gradually changing. This is because when people see the benefits to themselves and to those around them, they begin to come around to accepting the situation. This is always the way the European Union has worked, since it began.

Though really, it is quite difficult to pinpoint the time when it did begin. This is because the European Union was not inaugurated on any particular day, as the United States of America was. The European Union grew organically. The prime movers of the project were those people who had a vision of how things could be, and they gently began to work towards the fulfilment of those visions. The whole process had to be gradual, to give everyone the time to get used to the changes.

After all the events of Europe’s history, the people of the continent have a deep mistrust of anything that seems to them to be in any way dictatorial. Europe has had to suffer more than its fair share of dictators. So everything now has to be done by agreement, and by treaty, and by the democratic process.

So everything takes time. But over the last 50 years, the countries of Europe have moved inexorably towards what is termed “ever closer union” in the now famous phrase.

The original dream of the Union was to create a situation in which the European nations would never again go to war with one another. The dream actually began not long after the end of World War I, but because the punitive sanctions set upon Germany after that conflict were too severe, the continent had to endure the rise of Hitler and the Second World War before the dream of union and peace could at last be set in motion.

On this link http://eurofile1/2008/12/ode-to-joy you can hear the famous “Ode To Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven, which has been adopted as the anthem of the European Union. Beethoven incorporated the tune into the final movement of his Ninth Symphony, setting it to the lyrics of the poem by Schiller which gives the tune its name.

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