19 days ago
When the Czech Republic became a member of the European Union in May 2004, it was a great honor for the vast majority of the nation, which dreamt of Europe since the Velvet Revolution. Today, enthusiasm about the EU is much lower. Even though there are tangible gains from being a Member State, there is also an increasing price to pay.
In 2004, a market with four-hundred million people opened to the Czech Republic. Czech industry has always been export-oriented, and this was an amazing opportunity... And Czechs were willing to sacrifice something to it.
In recent years, however, we are, for example, witnessing indirect and unintended effects of the EU common agricultural policy. High tariff barriers on African goods are destroying African agriculture and contributing to the migration of Africans to Europe.
Also, the events surrounding migration issue have shown the gradual EU federalization and the transformation of Member States into non-independent provinces. It turns out that the Treaty of Lisbon has deprived the Member States and their citizens of the most fundamental sovereignty - to decide who may reside in their territory independently.
The proposed common asylum policy aims to institutionalize this suspension of Member States' rights. Of course, people are sensitive to this interference of their democratic freedoms. Emotions associated with the feeling of losing control of their own country were also the trigger of Brexit. Instead of reflecting on the issue, pro-European politicians consider the departure of the British as an opportunity to push the restrictions even further.
Regarding the economy, European federalization started much earlier and without much attention. The common currency was supposed to lead to a political union with its own strong budget. Initially, total fiscal autonomy was declared, and the rules of fiscal discipline were set to make the euro a sustainable currency. But during the financial crisis of 2008, it turned out that it was just an empty proposal. The mutual financial assistance that was originally banned was suddenly transformed into a policy of joint liability for debts, albeit covered by operations of the European Central Bank.
And as it is not bad enough, the European elites have practically completely moved ideologically to positions that they call liberal, but have little in common with freedom. Their left-wing radicalism leads to non-democratic decision-making, which is easy to push through since these politicians are not directly accountable to voters. This creates an explosive mixture of a world of politics totally detached from the needs of voters. The movement of the yellow vests is a visible symptom of that.
Thus, as the cost of membership in the EU increases, the polarization, and radicalization of society grows, as does extremism. And it will get worse.
The benefits of the common market can be completely irrelevant in the next 15 years without the immediate abandonment of the EU federalization policy. Therefore, talking about Czexit might be empty phrases since the EU we could possibly withdraw from might cease to exist.