25 March 2007

Europe's Mid-Life Crisis

European Union: 50 years oldSince its creation on 25 March 1957, the European Union, together with NATO, has facilitated economic reconstruction and the consolidation of democracy across the continent, so it is right to mark this anniversary. However, like any other 50-year-old, Europe today finds itself asking some fundamental questions about its purpose and needs to look to the future, to rise to the challenges that David Cameron calls "the priorities of a 3G Europe": Globalisation, Global warming, and Global poverty.
Liberty proclaimed to the Captives (c) BCC Museum
With Europe's semicentenary coming on the same day that we celebrate the bicentenary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave-trade, Europe must embark on significant reform and start looking outward, if it is ever to make a reality of its rhetoric that Africa is now one of its top priorities. It must move on from its socialist dream, depart from its protectionist tendencies, and decentralise powers to national control.

A couple of days ago, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso claimed: "In the Europe I want, the right to choose has primacy." This must apply not just to the rights of the individual but also to the rights of individual nation states Рboth within and without Europe.


TL said...

The Freedom Association has a copy of the Alternative Berlin Declaration from MEP Roger Helmer at www.tfa.net:
1 We recognise that the European project has failed. The EU is making us poorer, and less democratic, and less free. Europe is in long-term relative economic decline compared to other advanced economic regions.
2 We know that the European social model is failing. It is a prime cause of poor economic performance, and has led to historically high levels of unemployment.
3 The CFSP (Common Foreign & Security Policy) is undermining NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance, so reducing our security in a dangerous and unpredictable world.
4 The EU fails because it is an anti-democratic, élitist project which rides roughshod over the identities and aspirations of citizens.
5 Accordingly, we agree to dismantle the existing treaty structure and to replace it with a new vision of a Europe of free, independent, democratic nations based solely on free trade and voluntary intergovernmental cooperation.

MikeC said...

I'm almost speechless... but not quite, at the audacity of EU leaders, to openly endorse an unequivocal move to a new constitutional treaty, and hence ignoring democratic principles - the no vote of two nations, for an original treaty that required 100% agreement.

Coupled with the report in the Telegraph a few days ago, identifying the top three countries in Europe to live - all outside of the EU - and it doesn't appear that any of our existing leaders is really listening.

James said...

The Telegraph has a must-read interview with Lord Carrington, who says he now feels "rather agnostic" about the EU. He claims "I am not in the least anti-European, but the European Union has developed over the last few years in a way that is over-regulated and over-ambitious. I thought we were joining a common market. It did not occur to me that the Europeans would interfere in our affairs." See EU has gone too far, says man who helped Britain join.