Europe for Peace featured in Peace News issue for April – May 2016

EUROPE FOR PEACE has been featured in the latest edition of Peace News. Published since 1936, Peace News is the UK’s only grassroots newspaper covering the full spectrum of peace and justice issues.

Our campaign was featured alongside an excerpt from a briefing paper by Chris Venables of the Quaker Council on European Affairs. Below is another great excerpt from the paper:

"The EU was conceived as a peace project, created out of the destruction of the Second World War to ensure that armed conflict between European states could never take place again. Sixty years later, social, institutional and economic connections make war within the EU inconceivable. The story of European integration began as a story of peace. QCEA believes that it is by exporting its values and its success as a peace project that the EU can be most effective on the international stage, not by emulating the military power of the US, Russia and others.

The EU is not naturally a military alliance. Its strength comes in its ‘soft power’: its ability to wield influence without relying on military strength. Through its development aid, civilian-led overseas missions, and its role in strengthening international law, the European project has thus far represented an alternative to the militarism often present at the national level. For the EU to focus on developing military capability is to relegate its potential strength in using soft power to second place when instead its soft power should be at the forefront of its external relations.

The greatest strength of EU foreign policy is the range of civilian-led tools that it uses to create a more just and peaceful world. It is these agencies, instruments and institutions that should be strengthened and supported in the years to come. The debate around the future of EU defence policy – currently focussed on the European Council this December – is in danger of marginalising the successful civilian-led approach the EU is commended for."

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