Supranational vs. Intergovernmental - the EU and the prevention of war
Hew BG asks in a comment, "what is your view on the Supranational / Intergovernmental question? The Yes camp (up to and including Barosso, Margot ) are currently conflating supranationalism and the peace in (Western) Europe over the last 50 years which is, to be generous to them, "stretching" the achievements of the EU."
My web connection's being a bit spacky today, and I've got a few deadlines so I can't do anything too substantial at the moment, and haven't got time to dig out links or the like. But in short, and off the top of my head:
Assuming we take "intergovernmental" to mean based on unanimous decisions and "supranational" to mean that states can be compelled by others to comply, I'd say Wallstrom/Barroso have a point - albeit a stretched and somewhat flawed one.
The World Trade Organisation, for example, is supranational and because of its powers of compulsion has helped to remove/reduce various tariff barriers over the years thanks to the added power of collective compulsion the supranational framework allows. The UN Security Council, however, working on the intergovernmental unanimity principle, has often been hampered by not being able to get agreement - notably over the Iraq war, Kosovo etc.
So a supranational set-up can certainly help get things done - it's akin to the principle of a parliamentary majority vote, only with nations rather than MPs. Intergovernmental decisions, requiring unanimity, can lead to stalemate and stagnation, and in turn to the breakup of the organisations which require them - viz. the current debates over the effectiveness of the UN and the collapse of its League of Nations predecessor.
You already know my views on nation states - outmoded and arbitrary. Nation states being allowed to maintain complete sovereignty and act purely in their own national interest can work to the disadvantage of other nations and the international community. Having some kind of supranational organisation which can put an extra bit of pressure on to stop them from pissing about is, in my view, very helpful. Being signed up to a supranational group is a rather more tightly binding check on rampant self-interest than mere bilateral / multilateral treaties - as the Munich Agreement is testimony to, such treaties are too easily easily ignored / rescinded / rewritten.
But having said that, in terms of war I doubt any agreement between nations is enough to prevent it if any particular state wants one badly enough - war is, after all, by its very nature illegal. The added threat of a vast number of allies instantly being dragged in (as via NATO) may help to stop anyone being stupid enough to launch one, but not necessarily.
This has gone on a bit, so to summarise: in my view, the EEC/EU has been a handy extra layer to NATO/the UN, but in legal terms not a vital one, in keeping the peace in western Europe. What it has helped to do is foster closer, friendlier relations between the governmental machines of the various member states, allowing closer dialogue than was previously the case. The more there is dialogue between nations, the less is the chance of war. In that sense I think the EU certainly has helped maintain the peace - but not, as I say, because of any specific legal agreements.