As European Union bosses openly claim that a “federation” ruled from Brussels is inevitable, a growing coalition of political parties across the EU is coming together in an effort to preserve national sovereignty and self-government while putting the brakes on uncontrolled immigration. Led in large part by prominent political leaders from Holland and France, the budding anti-EU alliance is already being viciously demonized in the establishment press with smears like “radical” and “far-right.” More than a few analysts have compared the developments to the rise of the U.S. Tea Party.
The almost comical hysteria being expressed among top bloc officials about the effort to defeat the “integration” agenda suggests that paranoia is starting to take hold at the top — especially after recent polls revealed that the peoples of Europe largely reject the EU even as the super-state continues to usurp more power. Indeed, amid the economic crisis, the controversial bid to smash national sovereignty in favor of unaccountable “regional” governance is coming under increasing pressure from across the political spectrum.
Critics are saying the integration scheme is doomed anyway, but they want to help bring it down before more damage is inflicted. The EU is on track to “collapse like the Soviet Union,” said European Parliament Member (MEP) and French “National Front” party leader Marine Le Pen, echoing sentiments expressed by more than a few respected analysts and political leaders. Le Pen, whose socially conservative party — the third largest in France — has been surging in the polls, is working with other European political leaders to create a powerful alliance within the so-called European Parliament in defense of national sovereignty.
Blasting the EU as a “global anomaly,” Le Pen vowed to work with others toward reining in the growing super-state in favor of a system involving “cooperation of sovereign states.” The peoples of Europe, she complained, now have “no control” over their economies, currency, or the movement of people within their nations. “I believe that the EU is like the Soviet Union now: It is not improvable,” Le Pen was quoted as saying, adding that the increasingly unpopular behemoth would crumble under its own weight like the USSR did decades ago.
Joining forces with Le Pen in the effort to rein in the EU after regional parliamentary elections next summer is firebrand Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders and his powerful party. According to Le Pen, one of the reasons for her party to campaign with Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) is to show voters across Europe that “similar patriotic movements are active in every EU country.” It is important for voters to see that “we do not stand alone,” she noted. “The current system has a lot to lose if our movements work together.”
A poll released this month showed the National Front currently on track to be the biggest winner in the upcoming EU elections with 24 percent support — sending shockwaves through the French political establishment. The Dutch Party for Freedom, meanwhile, is also soaring in the polls, with recent surveys suggesting that it is the most popular party in the Netherlands at the moment. If elections were held today, it would dominate, polls suggest.
As chief of the Party for Freedom (PVV), MP Wilders has developed an international reputation as a strong critic of Islam — especially the ongoing mass immigration of Muslims into Europe, which he sees as a threat to the continent’s future. While Le Pen has distanced herself from some of the most heated rhetoric, National Front is also critical of radical Islam’s increasing prominence in France. The PVV calls for a withdrawal from the euro and the restoration of free markets, while National Front has strayed somewhat from its solid pro-market positions in recent years.
Even with those differences, the two party leaders are reportedly planning a meeting in the Netherlands next month. Among other topics on the agenda is forming a pro-sovereignty parliamentary grouping to unite so-called “euro-skeptic” and pro-sovereignty parties in the quasi-legislative European Parliament. Some of the political parties being considered as possible allies include Italy’s Northern League, the Austrian Freedom Party, the Sweden Democrats, Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, and others. While there are significant policy differences among potential members, all of them share concerns over the increasingly out-of-control EU.
Based on his public comments, despite the inter-party differences, MP Wilders believes that unity among anti-EU forces will help the cause. “The National Front and the PVV could make the Europhile elite sing a different tune,” he was quoted as saying on Dutch TV, referring to extremist “integration”-at-all-costs advocates who currently dominate EU institutions. “We want to do whatever we can to turn the forthcoming European elections into a Europe-wide electoral landslide against Brussels.”
According to analysts and news reports, a brutal electoral outcome for pro-EU extremists may well be on the way as people across the region grow increasingly furious with the EU for a wide array of reasons. The government-funded BBC, for example, reported without citing a source that the upcoming elections could see 170 out of 751 members of the European Parliament representing either euro-skeptic or outright anti-EU parties. The U.K. Telegraph, meanwhile, said that “even ardent European federalists” concede that as much as 30 percent of the quasi-legislative body could be composed of euro-skeptics.
Despite the fact that the European Parliament is virtually impotent compared with other bloc institutions, the developments reportedly have EU bosses and the anti-sovereignty establishment on edge. “If we allow these forces to gain a foothold once again on our continent we will have wasted a century of building closer ties and condemned history to repeat itself,” claimed former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, invoking World War II for fear-mongering purposes while absurdly calling on “mainstream” parties to circle the wagons to fight “extremism.”
Socialist French President François Hollande, who recently declared that Europeans had “no choice” but to “march toward a unified Europe,” claimed the rising alliance of anti-EU parties could spark “regression and paralysis” in the region. The radical leader also argued, implausibly, that the developments could “threaten” Europe’s ability to recover from the eurozone crisis, which according to experts and economists was actually caused largely by EU scheming as well as the European Central Bank and its controversial single currency.
If the budding alliance does take shape in the wake of next year’s elections, which would require at least 25 members from seven countries to become official, it will not be alone in slamming the EU inside the European Parliament. Other major parties in Europe also oppose the euro and even membership in the EU. The liberty-minded United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), for example, part of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy grouping in the regional parliament, has been surging in the polls thanks in large part to its calls for Britain to withdraw from the controversial super-state.
Led by Nigel Farage, a former trader who is probably the best known member of the European Parliament due to his hard-hitting anti-EU speeches going viral across the Internet, the UKIP is also opposed to massive immigration, Huge Government, and never-ending EU power grabs. According to news reports, however, the popular British party will not be joining with the potential alliance led by Wilders and Le Pen.
“I am sure that a new Eurosceptic group of parties comprising Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders will happen. But UKIP will not be part of it,” MEP Farage was quoted as saying, adding that his libertarian party would continue taking a principled stand against EU political union. “The European elections shall be a chance for people to give their views if they wish to remain in the EU or leave the EU and face towards global opportunities like UKIP.”
Even with recent polls showing a collapse in remaining support for the EU, the anti-sovereignty establishment working fiendishly to advance a federal regime is now doing so out in the open. It has also become clear that powerful forces intend to do anything and everything to keep the EU and the euro marching onwards — no matter what the people think. However, with the backlash against the schemes continuing to grow across the bloc, the longtime establishment dream of a centralized Europe ruled from Brussels is hardly assured.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at