he EU Spent a Bundle to Unify the Continent. It’s Not Working. Some of the biggest recipients of aid are hotbeds of the very discontent that’s driving the bloc apart By Laurence Norman and Drew Hinshaw | Photographs by Piotr Malecki for The Wall Street Journal Aug. 8, 2018 11:55 a.m. ET The European Union has spent nearly $1 trillion to unify the continent by delivering highways and trains into places where there were once gravel paths. In current dollars, that is over eight times the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II. The EU has bought airports and bridges, trams and swimming pools. It has repaired castles and medieval churches.