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Thursday, June 09, 2011

FAZ: the EU has become "a demon, uncontrollable, impossible to vote away"

This is some forceful stuff from the Vienna correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Dirk Schümer. In a piece published in Monday's paper under the headline "Back to the nation", Mr. Schümer takes a long, critical look at the current state of the European Union - and he takes no prisoners.

The subtitle of the article is an indication of where he is heading:
“The EU was the best thing that has happened to Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire. Throughout the years it has however turned into a demon, uncontrollable, impossible to vote away.”
And then off he goes:
"The idea after 1945 was simple (…) at the moment when all Europeans pay for the same goods with the same coin, then Europe would encounter 'eternal peace' (…) The dream of a peacefully unified Europe has become true - in judicial and administrative terms it is now the strongest economic area in the world. There are no internal conflicts, no mass poverty and no dictatorships (…)"
But now, he says, "Now Europe is finished.”
“The single currency crashes and a small group of desperate bankers and politicians turn it into monetary waste paper by giving out emergency loans.”
Harsh but true.

With the European Project coming under strains on so many fronts, the open border policy and the bailouts for example, is it surprising, he asks, that "anti-EU politicians get rewarded with 20% of the votes?....actually it is surprising that the 'enough-is-enough' group remained so small up until now.”

Warming to his subject, Mr. Schümer goes on:
“In the beginning it was all about steel, the leftovers of war and the isolation of dangerous German Nazis. Then about a vote over coal transportation. Then about electricity production. Then about traffic routes. Then about agriculture. Then about customs. Then about the judiciary. Then about the currency. And now about everything.”
Then he makes a crucial point:
“No citizen was ever asked. Had anyone asked the French for their opinion in the 1960s if they agreed to have a common jurisdiction with the detested “boches”, or had anyone proposed to the Dutch to abolish border controls at Venlo, or had anyone demanded an extraordinary tax for Italian farmers from the Luxembourgers – the rejection surely would have been higher than 90%. Today all of it is perfectly normal."
Showing no signs of slowing down, he goes on:
“By this ordinance Europe turned into a historically unknown demon: No federal state, no federation, no democracy and no dictatorship. It is a bureaucracy that no one understands and no one can vote away.”
It is not a coincidence, he says, that the only consistent democracy in the world, Switzerland, is incompatible with the EU.

And then the grand finale:
“Europe has no common public and it shows that democracy cannot exist without discourse...It is doubtful that there is a way out of the euro and the Schengen area without a collapse. A Europe with new internal conflicts, increasing hatred, barbaric struggles for economic resources, decreased welfare states and mass migration to central Europe - such a Europe, where political lunatics and their doctrines of salvation would have a chance, is not simply a horror scenario but the real result of a failed, uncontrollable and unloved, EU.”

“Europe can only be solved if the overly complex engine in Brussels is stopped. All decisions must again be taken democratically on a national, regional or local level.”
Really strong stuff. In fact, this is one of the most critical analyses of the EU that we've seen come out of mainstream Germany.

And MEPs (with some notable exceptions) - who yesterday voted for a 5% EU budget increase and EU taxes, while insisting on keeping their own expenses secret - still think that the UK is the main obstacle to their vision of a federal Europe.

5 comments:

Mike said...

The best thing that could happen for UK is to ditch the EU with all its interfearing laws and rules. That one item alone would save not only direct contributions of some £9 Billion but indirect costs of probably three times that amount.

Anti-EU said...

Well said, Herr Schumer! But how come it has taken so long for this obvious truth about the iniquitous EU to be be stated so boldly? And also: how come no Briton has said this as well - when the British people are usually considered to be the most euro-sceptic/rejectionist of them all?

Anonymous said...

Well said, Herr Schumer! But how come it has taken so long for this obvious truth about the iniquitous EU to be be stated so boldly? And also how come no Briton has said this as well - when the British people are usually considered to be the most euro-sceptic/rejectionist of them all?

Sheona said...

I have noticed the both the articles and the readers' comments in FAZ have been getting steadily more anti-EU for some time now. Merkel is going to have to take very careful stock of her position if she wants to be re-elected.

MikeH said...

Thanks OE for bringing us these foreign language articles. An invaluable service! This particular one again shows the growth of European opposition to the EU. I'd like to see more discussion of what formats for open trade and structured co-operation might best replace this outdated set of over-centralised and government-hungry institutions.