By Hector MacDonald a member of one of the SY2E – Remain in the EU groups.
The European Union is built on a set of ideals that we all value
What matters to Europeans? The rule of law. Freedom of expression. Property rights. Democracy. The opportunity to build profitable enterprises. Freedom of the Press. The right to live with security and dignity. A safe, clean environment. Humane treatment of animals. Scientific progress. Freedom of belief. Freedom.
Though other parts of the world share some of these ideals, the EU has been tireless in promoting them across our continent and beyond. It has given Germany a different path to follow that has transformed it from warmonger to model world citizen. It has linked Western Europe in a shared progress of economic development and prosperity that has kept the once belligerent region at peace for 70 years. So important is this set of ideals that most of the former Soviet Bloc countries of central and eastern Europe have now embraced them. The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its great contribution to European stability and democracy.
In Britain, we tend to see the negative side of these ideals: the administrative burden of legislation that keeps our air clean and protects our employment rights; the foreigners in our cities, who come to Britain because they share our love of freedom to travel and work; the loss of sovereignty that comes from agreeing to support each other and abide by shared rules, many of which British experts drafted.
We forget that while we may lose a little control over our own affairs, we gain new control over the rest of Europe. We have a say on the treatment of orphans in Romania, on the regulation of banks in Italy, on the safety standards of nuclear power stations in Poland, on the laws governing journalists in Hungary. Our influence now extends further than at any time since the dissolution of the British Empire.
Shared European ideals are making all of Europe safer, kinder, stronger, better.
The full article is available here on Hugh’s blog