The world is safer with a European Union, but there is a small possibility it could unwind. The two world wars were European-centered. World War 2 is responsible for the most deaths in human conflict, with estimates ranging from 60 million to over 118 million. Besides all the European religious and political conflicts responsible for the deaths of millions, we in the Caribbean had the colonization of the Americas, which had an estimated death toll of 8.4 million to 138 million — one of the bloodiest human conflicts in history.
The European Union (EU) was created with the aim to end the bloody and frequent conflicts between European neighbors, a trend that culminated with World War 2. It was established in 1993 by treaty and has since expanded to 28 members. The United Kingdom is leaving the EU, and this will cause a small disruption within the union.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has become unstable due to political and economic uncertainty. An election is due in 2021, and the governing coalition led by Angela Merkel, who is leaving politics after two decades of dominance, has been bickering. The German economy barely missed a recession in 2019 and is in a downward trajectory. Once Germany is weak, Europe is weak. The economic problems of Italy, Spain and Greece are significant. France’s political challenge between the people and the government will likely remain indefinitely, even if episodic. It is easy to be friends in good times, but European economies have started to decline because of debt, demographics and other vicissitudes.
It is wise to pay attention to Europe, because historically (modern history) they have influenced the world.
Brian E Plummer