The European Union
Dominic Green, the author of Three Empires on the Nile and an instructor at Boston College, has an essay in the Dec. 28, 2015/Jan. 4, 2016 issue of The Weekly Standard on the “decline of the European Union.” Following are a few excerpts.
“The walls are going up all over Europe; we shall not see them lowered in our lifetime. The dream of ‘ever-closer union,’ and the eventual merging of nations into a United States of Europe is over. From the white cliffs of Dover in the west, where David Cameron refused to follow Brussel’s orders to grant welfare payments to working migrants, to the east, where Hungary’s border with Romania is marked with razor wire; from Athens in the Mediterranean south, where a populist government mocks Germany, the architect of the union’s fiscal policy, to Stockholm in the Baltic north, where the government has closed its borders to immigrants: The European Union has not only stalled on the road to union – it is coming apart....
“Across the Continent, popular resentment at large and apparently uncontrolled inflows of migrants is carrying ultranationalist parties, all of them hostile to the Brussels government, from the disreputable fringe to the parliamentary center. As last summer’s immigration crisis becomes this winter’s security crisis, the Schengen system, which guarantees the free movement of people between the EU’s member states, continues to disintegrate. Members are instituting ad hoc border controls, and voters are turning to parties who seek to repatriate powers from Brussels....
“We are witnessing the decline and fall of the European Union as we know it: the beginning of the end for the last of the twentieth century’s grand political experiments. The speed of the decline and the extent of the fall are not certain; Brussels still has plenty of options. But it is clear that the EU, having ceased its geographical and institutional expansion, is entering a period of contraction, and quite possibly disintegration. The lines of fracture are clear, and so are the indicators that the stresses will only intensify. Divisions between the rich north and the poorer south, between the new recruits in Eastern Europe and the ‘Inner six’ founders in Western Europe, and between the core partners, France and Germany, are all compounded by Brussels’s long-term lack of democratic legitimacy and accountability.” [Ed. emphasis mine.]
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