The European Union’s foundation myth links “ever closer union” to peace on the European continent, but the ideal of a peaceful Europe has been in retreat for some time. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU was already pursuing a path of militarisation, in the context of reemerging conflict among geopolitical blocs. War has dramatically accelerated these processes. It has also led to a radical reconfiguration of European politics. Eurochauvinism, xenophobia and jingoism are on the rise, not only within the far right, but within the mainstream parties of the European establishment. The antiwar movement is in disarray, and the politics of peace has been thoroughly marginalised. Without a decisive intervention, Europe’s trajectory is towards armament, geopolitical confrontation and a potential return to the horrors of the past. The task of articulating and defending a peaceful and socially just alternative must now be a top priority for progressive forces in Europe.
Clare Daly is a Member of the European Parliament for the constituency of Dublin since 2019, having formerly served in the Irish Parliament for the Dublin-Fingal constituency between 2011 and 2019, and on Fingal County Council representing the Swords electoral area from 1999 until 2011. She was also SIPTU’s shop steward at Dublin airport during industrial disputes with Aer Lingus in the 1990s. She is a lifelong socialist, trade union activist and women’s rights campaigner, and has led national and local campaigns, including on water charges, bin taxes, abortion rights, marriage equality and the US military presence in Ireland’s Shannon airport. As an MEP she works across a wide range of policy areas, including migrant rights, data protection, EU criminal justice and law enforcement cooperation, transport and defence. She is a vocal advocate for peace, and an outspoken critic of EU foreign policy.
Moderation: Mathew D. Rose
In Cooperation with Brave New Europe, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and Oxi.