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 (126.96.36.199).
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 analysis uses the EU as an example. It is divided between the rationale for having the EU (188.8.131.52), the benefits of its collective decision-making (184.108.40.206), its structure and political accountability (220.127.116.11), and the issue of growing hostility towards it (18.104.22.168), which is only partly to do with its cost (22.214.171.124). The issues of democratic accountability (126.96.36.199) and possible changes for a ‘multi-speed’ EU (188.8.131.52) are also examined.
In the 2016 referendum, British voters elected to leave the EU: a ‘Brexit’; this choice was not driven solely by a careful analysis of the benefits and problems of EU membership, so it is summarised separately (184.108.40.206).