Individual and group orientations
Hamburg Germany Day 1

The EU, patience, and the end of war

The EU as imagined in the US seems to be an economic and perhaps security entity. Its about creating a supermarket for American trade and partners/critics for America's war on terror. Yet, the heart of the EU as talked about in Bratislava is the body to end wars in Europe. This is its primary function.

Today, Pavol DemeŇ°, the head of the Bratislava office of the GMF, replied to a question about the "Return of Investment of the EU?" as an American question that is not relevant to Europe. The "investment" in the EU is about peace and stability not economic benefits, although they are necessary.

This has implications for the amount of patience Europeans have in terms of consensus building and decision making at the EU because its not about efficiency. Its about getting it right and taking the time to make sure that people are included. Some decisions at the EU can take up to 10 years to 20 years to make. This is mind blowing to me, because I especially don't have a sense of participating in the long view although I may see it. But all this is possible because Europeans have a greater goal than the next quarterly results and that is long term peace in the region after 1000s of years of war.

I hope it will not take the US 1000s of years of war to reach the same level of patience.


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