December 01, 2005

Vlaclav Klaus on the EU

The Road to Euro Serfdom is blogging something by Vlaclav Klaus who explains why many people think the dream of the EU is a good idea (since even many Europhiles will admit the reality is somewhat lacking):
Europeanism is based on two assumptions:

1. Nation states are a left over from the past, they have no future.
2. The individual cannot be responsible for his own actions, he must be controlled from the centre.

Nearly all European Leaders, whether left or right have accepted this argument.
Vlaclav Klaus (one of the few openly Eurosceptic politicians) is certainly on to something so I would like to say a few things about this world view that he points out is prevalent amoungst other politicians in Europe.

Point 1 may, or may not be true. Only time will tell but at the moment coherent groups with a shared culture living in a single territory does seem to still be rather popular. This is evident is shown by the break up of Yugoslavia based on pre-existing ethnicities, the break up of Czechoslovakia even thought the people most in favour (the Slovaks) stood to loose more from the break up. There are also strong nationalist movements in Scotland and Wales that seek to break up the United Kingdom even though they stand to loose out financially. Plus many others, of with varrying amounts of democratic legitimacy, so at the moment the nation state seems quite a well like concept.

Even the European politicians that hold this view that nation states are on the way out act in the interests of their own nations rather than in the interests of the EU as a whole as can be seen by the current problems settling the EU budget.

Unlike nation states the EU is certainly is a relic of the past.
Created in the 1950's with ideas from the 1930's to try and stop a war between France and Germany that had already happened, and was not going to happen again.
with the development of nuclear weapons and the growth of the two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, the question of possible Franco-German wars became a non-issue. The enemy of the West was further east, just as the enemy of the West now is in the south and the east. European integration became an unimportant side-issue.

As for point 2. That it is true is especially obvious from the actions of Blair and New Labour. But it is also evident from the EU's tendency to micromanage and regulate for no reason other than the obsesive need to regulate the lives of it's 'citizens' (who in turn get little to no direct say in it's actions). That something is true does not mean that I have to like it as a Liberal I find this kind of excessive stiffling control abhorent.


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