Before becoming a real political objective, the idea of uniting Europe was just a dream in the minds of philosophers and visionaries. Victor Hugo, for example, imagined a peaceful ‘United States of Europe’ inspired by humanistic ideals. The dream was shattered by the terrible wars that ravaged the continent during the first half of the 20th century. But the dream persisted and became a reality. Nowadays the EU unites roughly 500 million people in 27 Member States.
Half a century of European integration has shown that the EU as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts: it has much more economic, social, technological, commercial and political clout than if its member states had to act individually. There is added value in acting together and speaking with a single voice as the EU.