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What history reveals about the future

European Integration Before Brexit

October 2019, Number 09.04

“The British vote to leave the European Union came as a surprise to many people and raised many questions about the EU’s future, even its very existence. But were there warning signs in the EU-British relationship that should have signaled the referendum’s surprising outcome? And is there a reasonable approach to this complex problem that can help a majority of the British public understand what is happening with the EU? A short summary of the history of Europe’s conflicts is helpful when trying to understand the need seven decades ago for fundamental changes in Europe. An overview of the theoretical concepts behind the foundation of a peaceful Europe brings a better understanding of the basic idea of European integration. Finally, whether the governments of EU member states and the EU’s institutions in Brussels pursued wise growth policies also begs an answer.

Jack Levy, an American political scientist, prepared a summary of European conflict between 1495 and 1945 and identified 114 wars in which great powers participated on one or both sides. Statistical data revealed that France was the most frequent participant in those wars, and the victorious powers generally hold Germany responsible...”

Excerpt from János Matus, “European Integration Before Brexit,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  9, No. 4, 2019: 56-63.

János Matus is a professor emeritus of the International Business School in Budapest. He studied economics and psychology and earned a Ph.D. in the theory of international relations. Between 2005 and 2007 he represented the Hungarian National Defense University in the European Security and Defense College. In recent years he has researched the international political economy and its impact on globalization.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.