6.6.5 Multinational Political Groupings such as the EU

Multinational political groupings are defined here as comprising more than one country but not having power over the world as a whole.  The European Union (EU), for example, has created a structured relationship between its members for their mutual benefit – and other similar groupings are also beginning to emerge (

This definition excludes those alliances and coalitions that have a mainly military function, which are classified as forms of Self-Protection and form part of the next chapter (7.2.7).

The following sub-sections examine the EU as an example:

●  European sovereignty was pooled to gain peace and collective security (  There have also been economic and social benefits.

●  The EU has a wider perspective than national politicians and is less likely to make hasty tactical decisions (

●  EU politicians are either directly elected by the people or are appointed by elected governments (  National leaders are involved in decision making.

●  Nationalist politicians in Britain fed anti-EU sentiment, blaming Brussels by distorting reality and generating political hostility towards the concept of pooled sovereignty (

●  The cost of running the EU is an issue (, although the savings are almost certainly worth it.  Wealthier members pay more, but they also benefit more from economic stability.

●  Directly elected members of the European Parliament, in political groupings, form policies that are signed off by national political leaders ( – providing democratic accountability.

●  It has been suggested that the EU should be a ‘multi-speed’ organisation (, with members of the Eurozone moving towards greater political integration and contributing relatively more to its budget to pay for that.

●  In the 2016 referendum, British voters elected to leave the EU: a ‘Brexit’ (  This choice was largely driven by domestic concerns and nationalism.



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This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/665.htm.