In this post we review some of the declared goals and values of the EU, including a link to the main statement of these and links to many of our related posts.
Remainers, like Leavers, presumably come on a spectrum; let’s say from soft to hard. The EU offers a list of its goals and values, which hard Remainers believe the EU conforms to, and soft Remainers want to believe. Perhaps; we’re not expert at understanding the urge to remain.
Let’s have a look at some of these goals and values and compare them with what we see in practice.
“The goals of the European Union are:
- promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens”
EU leaders frequently declare that their Project is responsible for 70+ years of peace in Europe. We have two main objections to this claim. First, European union and (relative) peace in Europe have coincided for (rather less than) 70 years. Coincidence does not confirm causality, as the EU wishes us to believe. They don’t say how their project brought about peace (the predecessor of the Union started in the 1950s, less than 70 years ago), they just want us to believe it and, like effective cereal sellers, they keep repeating their claim. Second, ‘peace’ is not defined in their advertisements and, while most of the Continent has been spared a shooting war, a broader definition of peace would not fit the fractious nature of European relations. 
A much more plausible claim for causality could be made for trade, tourism and tradition, after all, Europe was at peace for long stretches of its history. 
- “enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU countries”
Take these one at a time, to question the ‘motherhood-and-apple-pie’ feeling that is surely intended. Economic cohesion surely is a goal, elaborated in the next-but-one goal below (EMU) but we’ll save our comments. Is ‘social cohesion’ (whatever it might mean) a desirable goal? How many citizens of the diverse nations of Europe would want to cohere with one another? Does it matter what citizens want, if the goal is to deliver what they need? This goal is surely driven by ideology not by any notion of democracy. And territorial cohesion we simply don’t understand, unless it’s an oblique reference to a federal government being needed to protect the EU’s external borders, in which case we have to ask, ‘protect from what?’; migrants, Russia – as usual they don’t say what they mean. And then we have “solidarity among EU countries”. But what could ‘solidarity’ mean in this context, other than agreeing to do as they are told? This is surely what it does mean to the EU, if not to soft Remainers.  Perhaps what they have in mind is ‘no borders’, or possibly the Social Chapter, where everyone must endure exactly the same rules; and of course the same money. When we put everything in the same melting pot they melt, but do they necessarily cohere?
- “respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity”
Now we could be picky here and ask why “respect” is only a goal, something to be achieved, not so far achieved? But let’s not do that; after all much EU business is conducted in many (though not all) the different languages of the EU, so perhaps that’s enough. But once again this is (im)pure marketing puff; apart from being silly it doesn’t mean anything, its purpose is to persuade us to feel good about the EU, nothing more.  Is respect for diversity in some way preserved or intensified under the Union’s agenda, which presses towards conformity wherever it finds diversity?
- “establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro”
Perhaps wisely, they don’t set the goal as being to establish a successful EMU, which would surely excite some trenchant challenges.  If this is a goal, what is its purpose? It attempts more control and less diversity but in practice it’s out of control and diversity – of performance – is greater.
Now we turn to “Values
“The EU values are common to the EU countries in a society in which inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination prevail. These values are an integral part of our European way of life”.
We don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this introduction. But sticking with our theme, this is the what Remainers believe or want to believe. We wonder who could have been persuaded to write this stuff, and hope they were paid well.
We’ll start with “EU values are common to the EU countries”. It is sufficient to read the guff that accompanies the six values (see the link above) to give the lie to this claim. We must assume that Remainers, along the spectrum, have not read them; at least not with their minds open to questions.
Next we have “in a society”, which indicates clearly both the goal of federation and the belief that this has already been achieved. We think there is no such thing as a European society, let alone an EU one. But we know what they mean, and what they want us to believe. 
And to add syrup to the gravy we have, “our European way of life”. They write this because the EU actually wants to eliminate diversity, and wants us to believe not only that this is possible but that it has been achieved. If they were honest (which would defeat their Project) they would write ‘our European ways of life’, which would both acknowledge and celebrate diversity. Quite obviously, there is no such thing as “our European way of life”. As an example of diversity: when the German economy was in the doldrums its government introduced the Hartz reforms which reduced workers’ benefits and wages; when Macron tried the same recipe the ‘yellow jackets’ stopped it dead. We assume that the EU would prefer to ‘cohere’ around the German approach, but what to do about the French? And Poles, Hungarians, Italians, to name a few irremediably diverse populations.
Here is what we think of three of the six “EU values” that they want us to swallow, preferably uncritically (the other three are Freedom, Equality and Human Rights).
- “Human dignity
Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected, protected and constitutes the real basis of fundamental rights.”
The functioning of the EU is founded on representative democracy. Being a European citizen also means enjoying political rights.”
Representative democracy is a sound ideal, though not one respected or implemented by the EU, which is designed to keep its citizens’ representatives (members of the European Parliament) in their place, which is not to interfere in the governance of the project.   The “also” in the next sentence suggests – correctly – that political rights in the EU are distinct from representative democracy. However, they don’t say what these rights are in the EU. An implication of this sentence is that citizens do not enjoy political rights in their own member countries, but drawing this inference may be unfair and certainly they would deny it, while not saying what they do mean.
We think they mean that the EU comprises representative democracies already so doesn’t need to be replicated at the aggregate level or the Project would be going nowhere because of its members’ current diversity, which of course must be curtailed. Thus ‘values’ are secondary to ‘goals’. It is also interesting that direct democracy is denied when the result of a referendum does not further the goals, which is why Switzerland couldn’t join. UK Remainers are now steeped in the same ‘value’. However, failure to replicate representative democracy at the aggregate, or federal, level makes nonsense of democracy at the national level, since federal overrules national decision-making.
- Rule of law
The EU is based on the rule of law. Everything the EU does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by its EU countries. Law and justice are upheld by an independent judiciary. The EU countries gave final jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice which judgements have to be respected by all.”
Based in the rule of law might be more accurate. Law-making dominates the activities of the EU institutions and while the European Parliament has to approve all laws it does not have the power to initiate them, which lies with the non-elected Commission and the councils. We assume that it was Remainers, and their equivalents in the governments of other member states, who “…gave final jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice…”, the purpose of which is not independent justice but to ensure that EU laws, regulations and so on are “respected by all”. 
But not “voluntarily and democratically agreed” when the Lisbon Treaty was agreed by representatives after being rejected by French citizens. The Constitution proposals, which the French had the right to ‘voluntarily’ accept, but rejected, was redrafted as a treaty which their representative (the French President) signed. The Brexit vote is being treated in the same high-handed way.
“The EU has delivered more than half a century of peace, stability and prosperity, helped raise living standards and launched a single European currency: the euro.”
The only bit of this that we can believe unreservedly is that the EU launched a single currency. The remainder of this unsupported claim is either suspect because coincidental (delivering peace and raising living standards), or simply false (stability and prosperity) – ask Greeks and Italians, in particular. 
“The EU remains focused on making its governing institutions more transparent and democratic. Decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen. … European citizens are encouraged to contribute to the democratic life of the Union by giving their views on EU policies during their development or suggest improvements to existing laws and policies.”
More tiresome – and untrue – marketing puff. Most revealing are “governing institutions”, which states the true agenda (and is surrounded by a lie) and “giving their views” which tells us the limit of their use of the terms ‘democracy’ and ‘democratic’. 
We have tried hard to understand why Remainers (hard, soft and in between) want the UK to remain in the EU. Perhaps the ideals presented in this EU document give the answer. But then we have to ask why anyone would believe that these ill-defined goals and values both mean something more than one might find on a cornflakes packet and are being realised in practice. Our linked (and other) posts show clearly the wide gaps between the real EU agenda and how it realises its agenda, and the ideals that it wants us to believe are the true agenda. If Remainers would use their critical faculties when presented with the EU’s ideal marketing the case to remain would vaporise.
See our Brexit: a Brief Summary for links to many relevant posts.
 Citizens’ Initiative