The European Union Is Dead — But, Does Not Yet Know It
I have been writing for over five years now on this blog that the European Union (EU) was in a slow-motion death dance to the dustbin of history. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the ‘unity’ piece of the EU as an empty pledge without substance. As Tyler Druden wrote on his blog, ZeroHedge this morning, April 20, 2020, “the EU objective was to be an ‘even closer union;’ but now, if the EU does not show solidarity and strength at a time of global crisis — then what is the EU’s purpose?” Actually, one of the real reasons for the EU’s founding was bullt on the hopes of preventing WWIII. With two world wars having their origin on the continent, the leaders of Europe hoped that by stitching 27 countries together into some kind of union, then perhaps they could avoid WWIII. But the coronavirus pandemic has exposed this one for all philosophy as a fraud. “Europe,” said the former EU Commission Chief and an EU founder, Jacque Delors, “is in mortal danger.” For Mr. Druden’s full article, I refer you to ZeroHedge.com
As Mr. Druden notes, “the truth is, there is no “Union.” “There is a conglomerate of European states trying to take advantage of some of the rules called “the union.” “The coronavirus has now put the EU and its comfort zone, face-to-face with all its weakness [warts], decadance, and cowardice.”
“In the face of Italy’s pandemic catastrophe,” Mr. Druden wrote, “the European Union showed only impotence and indifference.” European Commission President Ursala von der Leyen even “apologized” for the EU’s stiffarn to Italy, acknowledging the EU had failed to respond well to the COVID-19 pandemic,” in an understatement — which likely was way too late, and fell on deaf ears.
“When Italy called for solidarity from its European neighbors, they declined,” Mr. Druden wrote. “Even the former President of the European Parliament, Antonio Taiani, spoke of a “cowardly Europe.” The pro-EU Italian newspaper, La Repubblica called it bluntly, “Ugly Europe.” “It seems,” Mr. Druden notes, “70 percent of Italians believe Germany is trying to “strangle” them.”
“What Germany appeared to want was the advantages of an expanded Euro market, without its disadvantages, such as “solidarity” in the instance of migrants or the coronavirus,” Mr. Druden wrote.
“A report by the Bertelsmann Foundation, found that “Germany, which accounts for more than a quarter of the Eurozone’s economic output, benefited the most from the EU’s single market, earning an extra 86B euros per year because of it.” “It is likely this financial bonus, that is helping Germany cope with the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr. Druden wrote. “Germany had 25,000 ventilators. France only had 5,000; and Italy, was forced by a lack of ventilators, to make agonizing decisions about who to treat,” and who to let die. “Wouldn’t European solidarity meant Germany deliver [sic] at least some of the new ventilators to countries that currently need them the most?,” asked Der Zeit’s journalist Jochen Bittner.
“Among European states however, even faster than emphaty and solidarity; spread bitterness and resentment,” Mr. Druden observed.
“Another merciless battle Italy fought with the EU, was for protective face masks,” Mr. Druden wrote. “France adopted a policy of recquisiting them; [while], Germany banned their export. Those unilateral decisions undermined a much-touted EU principal: the free movement of goods in the single market.” As L’Express exposed, France seized four million masks belonging to a Swedish company — that had intended in-part, to be sent to Italy and Spain.”
“To revive their economies, the countries most affected, such as Italy and Spain, claimed that they could be financed by a common EU debt to be raised through “coronabonds,” Mr. Druden wrote. “Spain, France, Greece, Malta, and Ireland, all supported this solution. Germany and the Netherlands however, killed the proposal. The Netherlands demanded that the loans be accompanied by “long-term conditions,” such as reducing the size of the welfare states.”
Mr. Druden ends, “in times of crisis, the technocrats in Brussels look robotic and apathetic, while national states become essential to contain illegal immigration or a pandemic. The European Union is dead, it just does not know it yet.”
I reached the conclusion that the EU was doomed to failure nearly a decade ago; and, there are many articles on this blog that I wrote once Brexit passed, that Britain would leave the EU, and that others would follow. I would just say that the coronavirus pandemic is going to accelerate the EU’s demise. The problem is — you can’t be a little bit pregnant. Either you empower the EU to make major policy movements — which means that the member states give up more sovereignty — or, you create a weak entity that the EU is now, which appears feckless, indifferent, and disconnected. I have also written that a nation’s sovereignty trumps ceding part of its identy to a foreign entity.
Bernard Connelly, an Oxford educated British economist, known for his pessimistic outlook for the Euro, and the European Monetary Union; and, who helped birth the Euro and European Union we have today, contends the monetary union — which is at the heart of this grand Euro experiment — is rotten at the core.” His 1996 book, “The Rotten Heart of Europe: The Dirty War For Europe’s Money,” is a sobering and realistic assessment of the consequences and pitfalls that plague the Eurozone — as a consequence of pursuing a continent-wide monetary union. And Mr. Connolly should know, he was there for the “birth” of the Euro and was partly responsible for where Europe is today. Depression and recession are widespread across the continent as toxic nationalism and profound unemployment — especially among the youth are pervasive.
Mr. Connolly argues, “that this destructive pursuit is making the economic situation in Europe worse than it would otherwise be; and, this “forced harmonization” is engendering “distrust, resentment, ridicule, contempt and even hatred,” amongst and between the people’s of the European continent. Yet Mr. Connolly notes, “the people who put this together (some of whom are in leadership positions today) hail the EURO and EU as a success.” He calls this belief in the promise of a monetary union either crazy or disturbing. Those who originally proposed a European Union thought this was the path to prevent a third European civil war. The reality” Mr. Connolly says”, is a reversal of the post-WWII economic revival. “We have an elitist, bureaucratic, corrupt, authoritarian, repressive institution and leadership on one side and, a demoralized, lost generation of youth who see an “unaccountable, undemocratic, illegitimate and ultimately repressive super-state” that is digging Europe and themselves into an even deeper hole. Not surprisingly, he sees ultimate failure for the European Union and even disaster, the longer those in charge in Europe pursue this feckless endeavor. A deadly cocktail of unintended consequences. You may or may not agree with Mr. Connolly; but, it is hard to dismiss, or ignore him and his thesis.
The coronavius pandemic will not be the cause for the EU’s demise; but, it is likley to be a catalyst for that outcome. Even in poverty, a nation’s pride and sovereignty will likely always trump ceding partial sovereignty to a distant, disconnected, bloated bureaucracy, that has little to no connection to indivudual freedom. Some form of the EU may survive — but, it is likely to be a shadow of its former self. RCP, fortunascorner.com