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EU Goes From Peacemaker To War Mongerer

Politics / Euro-Zone Jun 22, 2014 - 08:12 PM GMT

By: Raul_I_Meijer

Politics

Jean-Claude Juncker, a former Luxembourg PM, claims that his EU-wide center right faction, the European People’s Party, “won” last month’s European Parliament elections, but something is not what it seems. They’re the largest faction, that’s true enough, but they had to concede 44 of their seats. In other words, while they claim a win, in reality it was a big loss. Which, in democratic systems, represents a call for modesty. Juncker will have none of that. He demands the leadership chair of the European Commission.


At first, Angela Merkel, without whose consent not a dime is spent in Brussels, seemed hesitant about giving Juncker what he wants, but she has changed her mind. That leaves British PM David Cameron as Juncker’s main foe; Cameron has stated he would never accept him as EC head; but Cameron looks to be overruled by Merkel et al. And that should suffice to see Britain leave the EU.

Not because Cameron’s pride would be hurt, but because the appointment of Juncker would fly in the face of the election results, which left no doubt that the – only – real winners were a wide variety of Euroskeptic parties. To then turn around and put a longtime EU stalwart in charge anyway, the very type of guy so many people in France, Britain and elsewhere pertinently don’t want to be in such a position, is beyond reason. And democracy.

More than anything, it shows how divided Europe has become. And ir no attempts are made to bridge that divide, it can only get wider and deeper. A perfect scenario for a lot of trouble in the future. Brussels will need to – be made to – listen to the voice of the people and adapt its politics and structures, or it will become an instrument of conflict, not of the peace it incessantly boasts to be the engine of.

As the push for and by Juncker continues, it’s no coincidence, in a sign of more eroding democracy, that Mario Draghi, the head of the allegedly independent European Central Bank, gave an interview last week in which he said – paraphrased – that Eurozone countries must surrender more sovereign powers to Brussels in order to allow a “perfect monetary union” to be formed. The interview was published in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf yesterday, and within hours various Dutch parliamentarians denounced Draghi’s ideas. That’s in a still very pro-EU nation. And Draghi’s still not a politician, but expresses political opnions.

The problem with Brussels is that its bureaucracy wants things the people no longer want or believe in. Not even because the governments of two member states were toppled in order to push through more Brussels, or because of Juncker’s nascent appointment, but because there is a vast and growing feeling of discomfort and mistrust of bureaucrats in far away luxurious buildings built with public funds, who don’t even speak their language (the tower of Babel comes to mind), taking decisions few see as serving the interests of themselves, their neighbors and their countries.

While the EU leadership insists on concentrating powers ever further, into its own hands, a movement which is the exact opposite of that spreads in Scotland, Basque Country, Catalunya, Venice and other places, where people want the right to self-determination as smaller nations, not bigger ones. Brussels was condoned as long as it was perveived as bringing wealth, but that perception is gone, and it won’t come back.

Draghi demands more economic reforms in countries such as France and Italy, so the grand European project can be expanded further. There should be reforms alright, but they should be in Brussels. The old guard needs to go, and talks need to start on the benefits and drawbacks of the euro for different countries. The EU doesn’t need to end as a complete failure, but it will if the current leadership prevails and insists on pushing through outdated plans that nobody in the streets of Rome, Athens, Manchester and Barcelona wants anymore. It won’t just fail, it will set peoples and countries against each other who otherwise would have no reason to quarrel.

There are ancient, profound, and wonderful at the same time, differences between languages, cultures and economies in Europe, and the straightjacket of a single currency will not succeed in eradicating those differences, it will instead bring them out in a much more pronounced and potentially ugly fashion as people try to escape the suffocation they feel it is inflicting upon them.

And that in turn will easily be used as an excuse to do battle. As soon as the crisis deepens. Something Draghi claims he can prevent, but only by taking more of people’s and nations’ liberties away. Which, of course, is the one thing that won’t fly. Europe still has space to avoid the worst outcomes of the mess its urge to unify has put it in, but that space is shrinking. Those 500 million people need reason, not the power games they’re getting today. And if that’s all they’re going to get, they will stand up for themselves.

By Raul Ilargi Meijer
Website: http://theautomaticearth.com (provides unique analysis of economics, finance, politics and social dynamics in the context of Complexity Theory)

© 2014 Copyright Raul I Meijer - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.
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