As you can imagine, the official history of the EU is widely available in libraries, bookshops and websites (including the EU's one), so I'd rather take a different approach and present the origin of the EU and fast forward to the present times instead of repeating what's already available in one form or another.
The concept of a supranational European entity, often referred to as United States of Europe, has developed throughout various centuries, but what's interesting to me is how it has been implemented from the 20th century onward.
Many of you may think that the first person in the 20th century who called for the creation of the United States of Europe was Winston Churchill in 1946.
However, according to Wikipedia, Richard Nikolaus Eijiro, Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi (16 November 1894 – 27 July 1972), an Austrian-Japanese politician, philosopher and Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi, is the recognized founder of the first popular movement for a united Europe, the Paneuropean Movement, of which he was President until his death in 1972.
His influence in the making of the EU is fundamental. It goes from laying out the ideological basis of the Union, to suggesting the adoption of the Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the music for the European Anthem, to contributing to the design of the EU logo which contains 12 stars (the 12 tribes of Israel).
In his various books and articles, he describes his idea of the future United States of Europe, in which the nationalism of ethnically homogeneous sovereign states, will be replaced by a "common European nationalism" based on a common European culture, "a kind of 'supra-national' nationalism" that is European rather than a balance of powers between the European nations.
One way to reach this goal is described in his book Praktischer Idealismus (Practical Idealism, 1925):
"The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today's races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals."
This creation of a new Europe, a Pan-Europe, based on new ideals of social democracy rather than feudal aristocracy and a new European identity deprived of its ethnic characteristics, would be overseen, according to Kalergi, by a "social aristocracy of the spirit", the Jewry.
Every year since 1950, the City of Aachen (Germany) bestows the Charlemagne Prize, to the politicians and Heads of State who have excelled in promoting this paneuropean vision.
Winners of the Charlemagne Prize have been Kalergi (1950), "the founding fathers of the United Europe such as de Gasperi, Schuman, Monnet and Adenauer" (as written on the official website of the city of Aachen), Winston Churchill (1956), George Marshall (1959), Angela Merkel (2008), Henry Kissinger (1987), Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands (1996), Tony Blair (1999), Bill Clinton (2000), Jean Claude Juncker (2006), Donald Tusk (2010), Pope Francis (2016), and Emmanuel Macron (2018).
I suppose it's fair to infer then that since the Treaty of Paris, every single treaty aimed to take away, little by little, the sovereignty of every country which adopted it without explaining to their citizens what the endgame was.
Furthemore, in my view, the implementation of Kalergi's ideals explain:
1) Why the Lisbon Treaty, rejected by the French, the Irish, and the Dutch, was imposed on their countries nevertheless. (The Irish voted a second time, after obtaining a few concessions.)
2) The "open borders" policy: from Shengen, in order to create a common European culture; to the acceptance of a sharp increase of illegal immigration in the last 10 years, and the demonisation of anyone who spoke against it (like in Sweden, in Germany and in Italy) to "replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals".
This artificial unity is showing more and more cracks, especially since the Chinese virus pandemic has hit the Italian shores and more and more EU countries have suspended the Shengen Treaty and closed their borders.
The proclaimed solidarity among the EU countries is nowhere to be seen: my country of origin, Italy, has been helped by Russia, Cuba, and ironically, China.
The "n" word, "nationalism", is now invoked unashamely to encorage the trapped citizens in the countries in lockdown.
The response of the EU authorities is still indecisive to say the least, and Brussels has never been so far away from the minds and hearts of the citizens the European Union member states.
Will the EU survive this existential threat? What do you think, dear Seekers? Please leave your comments below.
SAVE THE DATE: my post on military alliances, and economy in Euroland and in the countries who haven't adopted the Euro will go live on 22nd April.
In the meantime, stay safe and remember that life is what you make of it, not what it throws at you.