About John McCormick

John McCormick

John McCormick is Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Politics at the Indianapolis campus of Indiana University in the United States.

About This Site

This is a site designed to encourage discussion about the benefits and advantages of the European Union, and to help students using my textbooks on the EU.


Ten reasons why the European Union is a good idea

We have heard a lot of late about the problems of the European Union – so much so that the moderate and supportive voices are being drowned out in a cacophony of negativism. The EU is imperfect, to be sure, but so is every large institution or network of institutions. The achievements of the EU need closer study and greater promotion, and that is one of the goals of my blog. I plan to give a lot more detail on areas where European integration has worked and made life better for Europeans and non-Europeans, but here is a brief Top Ten list of why we can like the EU:

  1. Helping bring a lasting peace to Europe.
  2. Promoting prosperity, innovation, opportunity and choice.
  3. Raising standards and expectations.
  4. Helping Europeans understand their shared values.
  5. Reducing – yes, reducing – regulation and red tape.
  6. Replacing self-interest with shared interests, and exclusion with inclusion.
  7. Promoting democracy and free markets at home and abroad.
  8. Allowing Europe to speak with a louder voice.
  9. Offering a benchmark model of civilian power.
  10. Encouraging a rules-based approach to international affairs.

For more details, see my book Why Europe Matters.

7 comments to Ten reasons why the European Union is a good idea

  • Jordan Blacktopp

    Yes but if we leave, at first we would lose money but in the long run be would save billions of pounds. This would keep us away from another resetion

    • john

      I think the UK should be gently helped to leave the EU. Imagine you are sitting with friends and family at a table, discussing how to improve the financial situation of your family, and someone keeps whispering everyone “you will fail” “you are bad” and other negative things. First thing you do, you kick that person out of the house, then focus on what matters: solving your finance with your friends and family. Also, recession is not spelled resetion. Maybe after the UK leaves, it can put more money into education so you can spell better.

      • Elizabeth

        What an awful analogy! You’d just kick a family member out of your home if they said something negative or disagreed with your views?! There are still millions of people in the UK, myself included, who believe that remaining in the EU is best for the UK and for the rest of Europe. To continue with your analogy, imagine the “negative” person of whom you speak is my mother and when she is kicked out I have to go with her. I suffer too, through no fault of my own. To suggest the UK is “gently helped to leave” goes completely against the main message here – that EU members foster shared interests and values and provide support to other members. In this case, support is needed in opening the rest of British populations’ eyes to why Europe is better together.

    • Truth119

      Save billions of pounds….?


      We would lose way more by leaving, tarrifs would be introduced, it would be a withdrawal from the EU free market, can you think of a company relying on Britain-EU trade? Well its entire business will lose a LOT of profit by being forced to pay tarrifs. Furthermore many businesses will simply move somewhere else – somewhere in Europe. So you get more unemployment and capital moving abroad. A lose-lose situation. Contrary to popular belief that money we ‘give’ to the EU is a really really tiny amount, a few billion a year is nothing for a country such as Britain. We pay 0.13% of our GNI which is literally nothing. Britain will spend 0.7% GNI on FOREIGN AID this year – 7 times as much as on the EU – for far less benefit.

      Also renegotiating the ‘free market’ deal without ‘EU membership’ is unachievable – you backstab the EU then you want the benefits without paying in/confering to EU rules… Unrealistic to expect a Free market deal with the EU outside the EU.

      The ‘we lose money by being members of the EU’ is pure nonsense spouted by Right wingers who see a headline in the news ‘UK paid 20 billion to EU!’ and everyone sees it as huge – except those who understand geopolitics, 20 billion a year is nothing, we spend 150 billion on the Healthcare.. The ‘benefits’ far outweight the costs….

  • Stef

    For me the european union is a great thing.
    Believe it or not on our continent where so many wars took place we have to convince everybody that peace is the one and only option!

  • Jenny

    brilliant it helps with home work

  • Jim

    People are crazy and just need to calm down.I think the EU is a great thing. Because they never give up.

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