2 - Democracy
(Flags at European Commission building, Brussels)
In a few short decades, half of Europe has moved from dictatorship to democracy. See the list of countries below.
In some cases these were countries shut off to the outside world, or wracked by civil war.
Places like Croatia, Estonia, Poland. Nowadays Britons think nothing of going there for the weekend.
The EU has played a crucial role, often overlooked, in spreading and strengthening democracy in Europe.
It requires would-be members to meet stringent criteria before they can join.
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14 of the 28 EU member states that were dictatorships up until recently:
Soviet republics, part of the USSR:
Part of wider Soviet bloc: