I’m Micheál Mac Gerailt from Ireland, and I’m in Changshu, China, and I want to talk about how I believe the European Union is destroying its own founding dream: the dream of peace. So, I am a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. An island that’s been divided by war and sectarianism for centuries. Its war that was ended, in 1998, by three things: equality for all, in the north; demilitarisation of the north; and membership of the European Union, which has allowed trade, free movement, and cooperation between the two states on the island on which I live. Secondly, I am a citizen of Europe. A continent that has been divided by war and sectarianism for centuries, a continent that founded a Union, after the horrors of World War Two, to ensure equality for all, demilitarise a continent, and show the world how to achieve peace and cooperation. This is what the EU means. For me, anyway. And this is why, the most recent evolution in the Union – the creation of PESCO-Common Defence, means total destruction of our – my – European Values. Common Defence is a mechanism which will integrate the security forces of Europe, require all states involved to raise military spending, create security cooperation, and ultimately create an overarching European military command. Common Defence, in my view, is an imperialist, aggressive move by the Union, to make Europe a new force in an angry, tenuous world. On a planet where we are already witnessing an emerging Cold War, why are we engaging in the madness of weaponization? I don’t know; I just think that Common Defence threatens to unbalance NATO, distance the US, and threaten an isolated Russia, and ultimately I think this will lead to a new arms Race. I am a citizen of Ireland – a country which claims to be neutral, explicitly stating in its constitution that it will never join Common Defence –which has now been done by a government without informing its own people. This mechanism is driven by corporate, profit-hungry bureaucrats, and I myself am becoming ashamed to call myself European. In a time where we should be extending peacekeeping operations, democratising and empowering a struggling world, a distancing world, we are instead returning to imperialism, returning to war, and ultimately creating a European Army. This is not my Europe. This is not my peace.