Words versus Deeds

Any administration must be judged on its deeds rather than its words. This post is a reminder of the some gaps between the EU’s rhetoric and its actions.

Words-DeedsThe EU has a history of disappointing its citizens’ desires and expectations. The executive is driven by a vision beside and beyond those desires and expectations but national and regional pressures frustrate those dreams. Therefore it is likely that any consultations with citizens will be manipulated in at least two ways. First, the people and organisations chosen as representatives of the public will not in fact be representative; second the outcomes will not lead to real reform [1].

Europe’s citizens notice this and lower, still further, the trust they have in the Union. (Distrust has increased but there are still many believers.) Most of the crises that the EU has experienced result from the underlying dichotomy between ‘the Plan’ and the people. Crises have been ‘resolved’ with sticking plaster rather than reform, which means they continue to fester and new ones are regularly added [2].

This is consistent with the history of the EU and its predecessors (see, for example, The Great Deception by Christopher Booker and Richard North). The EU is constructed deliberately so that powers (“competences” in EU-speak) extracted from member states, or passed upwards by them, are irreversible (what goes up is not allowed to come down). There is no possibility of reversing course, which is why we argue that the EU will fail in the end [3].

Democracy. EU member countries’ constitutions oblige governments to put themselves up periodically for re-election or dismissal. The ‘constitution’ of the EU (i.e. the treaties) does not require this inconvenience. This is a design feature not an accident. To achieve its goal of a federal state in Europe the EU must force through ever closer union, against the wishes of many of its citizens. For this it needs stability and continuity. They cannot afford to risk a change of regime at the whim of an ignorant electorate [4].

InsincerityHowever, the EU, if it would describe its founding principles honestly, would argue that the common people do not know what they want and should be governed by what the EU believes they need. They feel that they have to pretend to respond to expressed wants and needs, but the evidence shows up their failure and their insincerity [5]

The underlying tension between the EU’s demands for uniformity (dressed up as ‘union’) and the wish of citizens to have the final say in their own economic and legal systems is the fundamental weakness of the Project. This tension goes to the heart of the EU’s ambitions [6].

Foundations. The EU is an oligarchic regime cloaked in a claimed high moral purpose. It is not willing to give serious consideration to the view that it is not a democratic form of governance and the contempt it displays uses propaganda to cover the deficit.

The main goal of the EU is not denied (federal control) and yet it is obscured by promises of prosperity and cooperation that do not accord with the experience of many citizens. Voters are confused: what they can plainly see is different from what they are told so they lose confidence in their ability to understand and many would rather leave decisions to better-qualified people, such as the mandarins in Brussels. And this is exactly what the mandarins require to sustain their project [7].

Unless people’s opinions can be managed it’s better not to ask what they are. Or, if EU leaders and supporters have the misfortune to know what their citizens opinions are then they pretend that they share those opinions and are working towards achieving what the people want.

MuddyAs so often, there is a large gap between what EU leaders feel they have to act on and what they believe they have to say. This gap, involving flat contradictions, characterises the EU and the distance between its true objectives and its declared ones; not to mention the distance between its citizens and its leaders.

Most evident is the underlying sense of superiority that enables, and encourages, EU leaders and their peers to mislead us. One example, among many available, illustrates the deceit. “Europe has always been an attractive place to do business” (Jean-Claude Juncker). This sort of remark slips so smoothly past the critical faculties of so many among us that we don’t think about it but just swallow it. Propaganda is usually required to promote something that has little substance or value but in this case it is needed to disguise the true agenda, and the lack of achievement, of the European Union.

The European Commission is charged, through EU treaties, with maintaining high standards and often declares that it does so. Its frequent disregard of its own procedures risks weakening its authority, for example in the current disagreements with Poland and Hungary where the Commission is pressing those countries to follow EU procedures and obey the law and their leaders are vociferously declining to do so.

Subsidiarity is a sound but neglected principle in the EU Treaties, with decisions supposed to be taken as close as possible to the people who are affected by them. This principle conflicts with the underlying ideology of the EU, which requires authority to be centralised and not subject to the whims of the people. The mandarins know best.

The EU rules.Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union confers on the Union an exceptional horizontal competence to cover in this agreement [the UK Withdrawal Agreement] all matters necessary to arrange the withdrawal.”

Federalism-1This may be the most important area in which the EU ignores its own rules – and demonstrates its obsession with federalism. They have ensured that few areas remain in which the EU does not have exclusive competence. Powers to act, once passed up from the member states, are never returned. Separation of powers is formally built into the EU’s treaties but is consistently ignored as it clearly conflicts with the drive towards a complete and dominant Union.

France and Germany consistently break the agreed rules on running current account deficits (France) or surpluses (Germany) without retributive action being taken; meanwhile for most Greeks and Italians EU “solidarity” doesn’t mean togetherness.

[1] We Need to Talk About EU

[2] Plan v. People

[3] Carry on Macron

[4] What this country needs is a benign dictatorship

[5] Only Believe (If Only)

[6] Discontented Democrats

[7] Foundations


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