Inquiring minds are attempting to ascertain whether Europe will pull back apart, or will the union’s democratic deficitit collapse it into some kind of a dictatorial ‘soft’ fascist state:
Feels like déjà vu. A little country in trouble, up to its neck in debts, with an illusory prospect of recovery in the offing. But no-one wants to lend the country any money. And the leaders, come hell or high water, assure the world that everything’s hunky-dory: after all, the next elections are coming up.
Then Brussels rushes in to save the situation: after all, a defaulting state could take the whole eurozone down with it. Six months ago it was Greece, now it’s Ireland. Portugal, Spain and Italy are next in line. The past two years’ economic crisis has cruelly exposed all the shortcomings in the European project.
Yet, just as Sun Tzu wrote…those shortcomings, namely the different horsepowers of the individual countries’, are exactly what the Eurocracy is using to promote its endgame:
Greece and Ireland – pioneers in European integration
For several days the Irish obstinately reiterated what has been their slogan ever since their struggle for independence: “Ourselves Alone”. At the end of the day, that all caved in under pressure from the EU powerhouses. And so a couple of dozen billion euros in EU aid will be flying into Dublin in a few weeks’ time.
Now obviously, and quite understandably, nothing’s for free: Berlin and Paris have tied strings to their antes so they won’t be wasted. They are demanding very specific quids pro quo, as they did for Greece: e.g. corporate tax and VAT hikes, budget cuts and a civil service pay freeze. Having such a European control tower monitoring EU economic policy and charting the budgetary or fiscal course to take seems a logical and natural consequence of sharing a single currency.
And so it happens that, in spite of themselves, Greece and Ireland are becoming pioneers in European integration, albeit on the turbo track laid down by European Central Bank experts. Likewise, the Union has finally managed to free its decision-making process from the popular referenda that previously thwarted the best-laid plans of Irish officials.
But just as always happens, bureaucrats forget that they can’t re-define reality. No person can control the natural world. And although Europe does bureaucracy well, democracy has always been a bit, well…elusive:
But remote-controlled democracy does pose some problems. On the one hand, it goes without saying for a lot of us that our leaders should only be the ones we pick in an electoral process. On the other hand, however, our societies are increasingly willing to liberate the political sphere from the vice-grip of elections.
In the late 1970s, David Marquand, a British academic and former Labour MP, talked about the “democratic deficit” in the workings of the European Community. Even as he praised the Eurocrats’ efficiency in those days, he deplored shortcomings in relations between officialdom and the electorate. He warned that if Eurocrats commandeered the decision-making process, Europeans would simply reject the European institutions as an intrusive foreign body.
30 years down the road, despite all its declarations of good intentions, the democratic deficit continues to haunt Brussels. At the present point in time, it would be plucky, to say the least, to submit the whole European project to a referendum, and might even cost electoral defeat.
And because of the European continent’s demographics, all this work is to just create one monolithic muslim euro nation-state.
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