( Twelve-minute read)
The Brexit referendum has and is demonstrating that the EU is not an irrevocable project.
It is now an internal power struggle while the EU _was_ an attempt to ensure peace and prosperity over the west part of the continent instead of the “costly” wars and colonial economics.
However, as the days go bye it is becoming more and more apparent that the EU is not for the people of Europe as a whole.
Brexit for all its reasons is an example that is now shining a light on the forthcoming European Elections. Especially on the pros and cons of is there a future as separated national states or the Union.
Because Brexit’s main players have failed to comprehend the true significance of the European Union, bringer of peace.
Probably they intentionally refused to understand it in order to carry forth their destructive policies without qualms, hoping to reap the fruits in national elections.
But what is actually happening is that it is bringing England and their voters into a state of isolation, coupled with political and economic problems that are currently afflicting the United Kingdom it might be no longer a Union.
There is no doubting that Brexit will negatively affect the European Union, and its Member States, and its citizens, but the EU will be compensated by having gotten rid of a reluctant member that constantly hindered every effort aimed at the necessary, logical development of the integration process.
This is no fault of the in or out voters, rather it is playing out the falsehoods spread by Social media that appeal to nationalism rules & will, which in the current set up of the European Union will trump the forced solidarity of Brussels.
No one can “force solidarity” upon you. Nor can a currency forge deeper integration.
Only collective suicide can do so.
So are the up and coming elections going to deeper disunity than unity?
The results of the European elections will constitute the grounds for the renewal of EU institutions and of its leadership. It then remains to be seen to what extent Europeans would have a political interest in mitigating the psychological impact of this Brexit chaos on European citizens.
At the end of all this madness, what is the EU going to look like?
On May 23 to 26 the citizens of 27 Member States will be called to renew the European Parliament. Then it is the turn of the formation of the new EU Commission. A busy timetable marked by growing anti-European movements and by the possibility of citizens’ mobilization.
If England requests an extension of article 50 it will extend into the period of Europes own elections thus linking the absurd ongoing spectacle in the British Parliament- which will lead to all of us witnessing the consequences of anti-European, nationalistic propaganda based on lies and slander against the European project.
So Europe will be in a quandary.
It cannot be seen unwilling to offer an extension, nor can it risk a Brexit bush fire by an extension of Article 50 over four months.
The current crisis that Europeans are both observing and undergoing is nothing but the readjustment of a project that no longer serves the needs of the day properly, and therefore needs renovation.
The last thing it needs is squabbling noncooperative English second peoples referendum or general election influencing its own elections which will have more than ample pitfalls of their own.
The Union is a rule-based union > if it is perceived to modify its rules without open democratic transparency it can only blame itself for its disintegration.
The Union might be only sixty odd years old but its history of breaking rules.
A confederation is based on trickle-down authority. The ultimate power lies in the individual states. It has no effective powers to prevent its own member states from violating its core values of respect for democracy, fundamental rights, and the rule of law.
Take Hungary, for example. Here is a member state casually flouting basic democratic norms and human rights, swiftly evolving into an authoritarian nightmare, with absolutely no meaningful consequences. The country’s parliament has not just passed a law making claims for asylum almost impossible:
Take Poland, for example. Authoritarian Poland is making an utter mockery of the EU’s stated commitment to democracy and human rights.
Defining appropriate institutions to regulate and mediate between economic and social forces is a global and not just European challenge, but its achievement may appear too far out of reach.
The EU is buffeted by multiple crises, from Brexit to the assumption of power of a Eurosceptic Italian government.
But its acceptance of its own member states succumbing to authoritarianism may prove its greatest existential threat of all.
One of the biggest problems with the EU is not how the politicians are “elected”, but how can you get rid of them when they fail to perform.
For many reasons, (addressed in previous posts) I think the EU project is fundamentally flawed. That those who “run” the EU are not subjected to a democratic election is scandalous.
Integration is what has given Europe its strength in economic globalization, and this integration will play a huge part in Europe’s survival in the age of political globalization. They cannot be tarnished by concession to England just for the sake of the Market.
Closer integration will have to include services but also the huge market for training and skills. It will comprise an energy union, just as it will have to comprise a proper “market” for people. This market will include not just the now-endangered EU principle of free movement in the EU. It will also include its flip side, a properly regulated shared “market” for immigrants.
What seems impossible today will have to come, no matter how much nationalist sentiments stand against it.
The EU serves a purpose, and its workings and its setup will have to be adapted as this purpose changes. Again and again.
How can this be achieved?
Fundamentally, the EU either serves the needs of the day or it gets into a crisis.
A more open decision-making process might have a positive effect on public interest in democracy at the EU level but it will not unity because it is becoming more and more evident that the single market with all its rules is more important than the citizens.
The dominant dividing line of the new parliament will become a contest between politicians who want to find common EU-level solutions to current challenges and those who favour safeguarding and reaffirming national sovereignty.
So I predict a Europe in which values will be handled closer to the lowest common denominator than to the great ideals that Europe wants to stand for.
This will be a source of never-ending tension, but it will prove less costly than becoming divided over maximalist morals only to lose out in the harsh world of political globalization.
The peoples of Europe will no longer integrate because they feel love for the idea of an integrated Europe—if ever they did. Integration will come only when the pain is really massive. And it is massive only in some policy fields, not in all. And it will remain so until the European Union affords a direct opportunity to its citizens to invest in EU that brings a reward with that investment. ( See the previous Post)
The politics of fear by building electoral platforms based on liberal principles, pointing out the big challenges surrounding technology and climate change, and showing that migration is just one issue among many.
There is no real hope for EU federalists because the Union relies on a global order that the Europeans are unable to guarantee. The direction of integration is more diffuse now than in the past.
However, the quest for political order on a planet that has outgrown its merely regional structure might have the chance to make a difference.
So with the European elections this time it’s not enough to hope for a better future: this time each and every one of us must take responsibility for it too.
Artificial intelligence has been confined to the lab for so long that it is hard sometimes to recognise that it is now an actual technology that we use without thinking. The EU is right to try to harness it.
Voting, on the other hand, has not been around for a long time, it now needs more thinking than ever.
After a woeful five years, this is perhaps last chance for the EU to prove it can regain the initiative. The stakes have never been higher, and the EU needs someone who is confident, can communicate and represents the people.
The EU needs a serious person at the helm, and it cannot afford to leave the choice to an obscure process that has so far failed to find the best person for the job.
The ‘technocratic’ rhetoric of economists and central bankers convinced most people that there is no feasible alternative to (financial) market logic, to fiscal austerity, low wages, flexible labour markets and independent central banks.
This way, establishment economics has constrained (and continues to constrain) political choices, stripping electorates of their autonomy in political and moral judgement.
This is a dangerous game since the only way disenfranchised electorates can express their anger, anxiety and powerlessness is by choosing self-defined.
The tragedy of Brexit powered by Farage & all doesn’t have any real solutions.
All human comments appreciated. All abuse or like clicks chucked in the bin.