THE EUROPEAN UNION
Born from the Coal and Steel Community (1952), developing into a growing trade and agricultural organization, the EU, currently consisting of 27 members, is now an important regional player on the world political stage. It has expanded into a Union integrating about 500 million people. Some would like to see the EU turn into a kind of United States of Europe with world political and military capabilities. It is by far the largest economic actor - trade within the Union amounts to about one-third of world trade.
The not so united Union. The palaces of the power elite
In and of itself, the internal integration and rise of the EU as a potentially unified actor is an extremely important feature of contemporary world order development. What it entails for the global future in terms of conflict, violence and war remains to be monitored and evaluated as time passes.
According to its constitution, the Treaty of Lisbon, "The Union's aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples" (Article 2). This naturally makes the EU a topic of interest to TFF as a peace research and policy think-tank.
Flea market in Brussels. A citizens' aspect of the EU
Over the years the Foundation has focused on four main areas in relation to the EU:
• The EU as a possible actor for conflict-management and peace worldwide, with a particular focus on its conflict-management activity in former Yugoslavia.
• The defence, security and peace policies of Denmark.
• The defence, security and peace policies of Sweden.
• Ways to improve the integration of refugees into Sweden with a particular focus on young Afghans who have travelled and arrived in Sweden without any family members.
For articles and reports by TFF Associates on these four issues up to 2012, please see the separate right-hand menus.
TFF Associates on EU affairs 2012 -