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Despite arguments by some on this site that the French "Non" to the EU Constitution brought in a welcome period of paralysis at a time when neo-liberal ideas dominate in Brussels, I continue to think that this vote was an unmitigated disaster
That, suddenly, we would all be friends?
The only way for such a thing to advance now (and back then by the way), is by annihilation of democracy (which in part happened with the Lisbon treaty, by the way). I would postulate that anyone that want to force more integration now is, to put it bluntly, an enemy of democracy.
Note the word "force", it is important. One thing is trying to convince the peoples of Europe to unite further (good luck). Another, despotic, is push forward against what is the current will of the peoples of Europe. The many peoples of Europe (we are not one people, for sure).
In his latest book, he identifies a fundamental 'trilemma': that we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national self-determination, and economic globalization.
"Eurozone leaders have turned a €50bn Greek solvency problem into a €1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union."
This charade of forcing a treaty, repeatedly rejected by the peoples of the EU, by hook or by crook, was IMHO the most flagrant display of the EU elites' total disregard of european public opinion, and fed a legitimacy crisis that in turn "tuned out" large parts of the people of the EU to any discussion of the European project. Worse, the EU then handled the Crisis with neoliberalism embedded as a constitutional mandate. This didn't help. In fact, this contempt for popular dissatisfaction fed the nationalist far right, on the ascendant right now across the EU, and affecting policy in many countries already.
Were there a broader coalition against the passage of any treaty not prepared by a special constitutional session of the European Parliament, specifically elected on that mandate, instead of the SD subscribing to the neoliberal constitutional agenda remarketed as a sneaky Treaty, things just might have been a tad better at this point.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
So, what if the no wins?
There is no plan B, and the EU project will probably be in a state of semi-paralysis for some time - until the next major global crises, where the woefully inadequate response of the EU will probably force a re-think. Big projects like the EU need big crises like WWII and the Cold War to move them forward. Let's hope it doesn't take another war...
Other than the expansion to 27 which was done in total haste and was supposed to have happened after the new treaty in any case, "the EU project" has been in semi-paralysis for the better part of 20 years. ... the Council, where the political impetus for "the EU project" has to come from, has been stocked with petty-minded nationalists who can't even bring themselves to campaign for their own treaty.
The world is likely to see an upheaval in the 2010's and the EU won't know what hit it because of these dunces.
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