In a week which marked Europe Day, an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe, we saw some lively exchanges over whether it is NATO or the EU which has kept the peace in Europe.
NATO is a military alliance which works on the premise that to ensure peace you have to prepare for war. It has neither the doctrine, personnel, tools, budget or institutions to undertake nation building or assist in the transition to democracy, the rule of law, or human rights.
The EU on the other hand has helped countries overcome dictatorship and democratise, reform their constitutions and improve public services. Indeed, in 2012 the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for helping transform Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace and for advancing reconciliation, democracy and human rights.
Peace is a condition achieved through determination and wilful action, not through the threat of military might. The EU’s democratic nations working together can and do achieve this. This year more than any other we would be wise to remind ourselves of the legacy of peace and prosperity the architects of the EU have left us and defend it by remaining a part of the EU.
Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green, South West Englandby