Eurnet is designed to provide quick access to news, information, and commentary about the remarkable experiment that is the European Union. The site is a reflection of the author's lifelong interest in Europe and European history; his hopes for a better future for all of the countries that share the continent; and his opinions about how best to assure that outcome.
The European Union is an unprecedented creation. For the first time in history, dozens of countries voluntarily relinquished fundamental sovereign rights, consigning them to a distant bureaucratic overlord in return for promises of peace, prosperity, and an equal voice in governance.
The EU's ideology is unabashedly utopian. Its advocates loathe the nation-state and share a core belief that one law, one government, and one currency will create Arcadia. In reality a large gulf remains between theory and practice. At present the interests and voices of small EU member states mean very little in comparison to those of the largest. While proponents portray the EU as "voluntary empire", "nonhegemonic...with no dominant force inside", it is in fact dominated by a single member. Germany freely imposes vehemently unwanted policies on other members without notice or consultation, such as opening the union's borders to mass Muslim migration, and it regularly compels others to vote against their own interests on economic issues.
The EU is a well-intentioned construct that has bestowed many benefits on its members, not least of which are a free-trade and free-travel zone. However, this observer believes that the lack of true democracy and the extraordinary hubris of EU administrators present grave risks to both the EU's nascent gains and the future peace and prosperity of the continent.
Member states and their citizens are already openly pushing back against diktats imposed by the EU's de facto ruler and the subservient European Council, as well as increasingly picayune and oppressive regulations imposed by faceless and unaccountable mandarins in Brussels. However, instead of attempting to become a more representative institution, EU ideologues continually respond by demanding greater central control.
The holy grail of EU dreamers is the ultimate transfer of all nation-state sovereignty to Brussels. Unfortunately for them, that will never happen. Since ideologues generally despise political compromise, there's a great risk that their overreach will end up destroying the project and leaving the continent in turmoil. The EU can survive and thrive if it develops into a truly democratic, responsive and representative union of nation-states, but if it continues down the path of would-be empire it is doomed to shatter.
© 2017 F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, III
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