Monday, 03 February 2014

Euroskepticism Growing, Threatening European Union

Written by 

Viviane Reding, the vice president of the European Commission, has made it abundantly clear that her vision is to create and enforce a United States of Europe, and the upcoming election of 751 delegates to the European Parliament in May is just the time to accomplish the task. Said Reding, "We need to build a United States of Europe, with the Commission as government, and two chambers: the European Parliament, and a 'Senate' of Member States."

Once enacted, the commission would reign supreme over the governments of the once-sovereign nations of Europe, and the European Parliament members (MEPs) would supersede the authority of parliament members of the various national governments. And now is the time, declared Reding:

This debate is moving into the decisive phase now. In a little more than four months’ time, citizens across Europe will be able to choose the Europe they want to live in.

There is a lot at stake. The outcome of these elections will shape Europe for years to come.

And then she acknowledged why such a big push for a supranational regime is needed: the growth of the Euroskeptics who see what she is planning and don’t like it one bit. "This will be our best weapon against the Euroskeptics: to explain to our citizens that their vote really matters," Reding noted.

It’s going to be close. The harder Reding and her comrades push toward a political union with teeth, the more her efforts are being resisted. Major media mouthpieces for internationalism are getting nervous and are devoting massive resources not only to explore the breadth and the depth of the euroskeptic movement, but to begin to mount counterattacks to neutralize it.

For example, Huffington Post turned loose five of their journalists to explore the extent of the Euroskeptic movement across Europe and had them report back to headquarters what they found. What they found wasn't pretty. Peter Goodman, the leading light among them, titled his report “Skepticism and Contempt” and noted that his researchers found strong sentiments of “suspicion and even contempt” for Reding’s plans. He added:

Given abundant signs of Euroskepticism from London to Berlin, this once-every-five years electoral exercise appears to be shaping up as no less than a referendum on the merits of continuing on with the European Union itself....

Distrust about the treaties and conventions that hold together modern Europe appear[s] to be at an all-time high ... [which is] fueling a drive to reclaim national identities.

The Economist devoted nine pages to that growing unrest in its January 4 article, “Turning Right,” noting that parties expressing skepticism in France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands could take as much as a quarter of the 751 seats up for grabs in May. Said The Economist: "Across Europe disillusion with the EU is at an all-time high: in 2007 52% of the public said it had a positive image of the EU; by 2013 the share had collapsed to 30%."

As if on cue, Bloomberg took pains to quote European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who is concerned that the May elections could turn into “a festival of unfounded reproaches against Europe.” He added,

We are seeing, in fact, a rise of extremism from the extreme right and from the extreme left. I hope we’ll have a more profound European debate and the European project will be more strongly defended than before.

I hope, namely, that the mainstream political forces will ... no longer consider European unification as a given.

The British tabloid The Telegraph gave German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier plenty of ink in his counterattacks against those favoring retaining their sovereignty:

We must not avoid confrontation with populists, nationalists, with these brainless people who call themselves Euroskeptics. They all promote anything national [but] without making proposals of their own.

I’m concerned about the situation in our union. [These] forces could prove dangerous to the European Union as a whole.

As Reding has pushed forward with her view of how her world should work, she has unapoligetically expressed her plan to use force and the threat of force to accomplish the task. In November 2012 she even called her vision “powerful” and explained, "If we want a budget policy that is sound in the long term and also a force for solidarity, we need a European finance minister who ... has clear powers of intervention." (Emphasis added.)

Reding said that all this cannot be accomplished immediately, but she envisions the steps that must be taken to turn Europe into a total state:

To do so we shall certainly need new treaties, and Germany will probably have to amend its Basic Law. We shall have to find out whether all member states, or only the euro-zone countries, want to embark on the venture of a Federal Europe.

Reding explained in her “Vision for a Post-Crisis Europe: Toward a Political Union” that citizens will have the freedom to vote for the new law, or not, but opting out altogether isn't going to be possible:

Citizens should be given two alternatives: either to accept the new Treaty; or reject it and then to remain in a close form of association....

For this, we need to be more united than ever and take our citizens with us. [Emphasis added.]

Time, says Reding, is on her side. In at least two presentations promoting the wonders of coerced unification, she ended by quoting the authors of This Time is Different, economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart: "The pressure of the crisis may unleash a dynamism that we cannot imagine in our wildest dreams. In the end the United States of Europe may come about much faster than most people think."

It could also collapse much more quickly. The harder she and her comrades push for their elitist socialist dream of a perfect society with them in charge, the greater the mounting pushback from citizens who increasingly see what’s coming. The elections in May, while not definitive, could be indicative instead of that mounting resistance to tyranny. The clock is ticking. The disintegration of the dreamers’ dreams could “come about much faster than most people think.”

 

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics.

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