The coronavirus pandemic will bring about the “end of Brussels” and the resurgence of nation states, renowned French essayist and writer Éric Zemmour wrote in an article published in Le Figaro, France’s oldest national daily newspaper.
“The European Union is the first casualty of the coronavirus,” reads the title of Zemmour’s article, in which the author discusses what he believes is the fall of Brussels and the almost forgotten role of the nation states as coronavirus ravages the continent.
“When Italians in Lombardy were threatened by the virus, Italian people began looking to Rome, not Brussels. Meanwhile, they also had to realize that France is mocking them and Berlin has denied help,” the popular conservative intellectual and author writes. Early in the crisis, both France and Germany refused to provide medical supplies and support to Italy, an action that was widely criticized.
Citizens’ instinct to look to the nation state is the central tenet of Zemmour’s article. He writes that while there was a forcible attempt to remove nation states from people’s thoughts over the years, the crisis has proven that the nation state is all there is left, with Zemmour calling for a Europe of nations.
“We are much stronger. France is our home, Europe is our future. We must forge a European sovereignty,” the author writes. “When death rides across Europe, people are not turning their worried gaze to Brussels, but to their own nation state, the very state that for decades citizens have regarded to be in the past. The nation state now shows that it is essential for delivering health services and maintaining rules.”
Zemmour also blamed French President Emmanuel Macron for failing to close the Italian-French border, claiming that “the virus has no passport”.
“Despite this, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria have closed their borders, while Macron in Paris was still only speaking about closing the outer Schengen borders. Our president seems not to realize that when it comes down to human lives, Schengen is no longer. He did clearly realize though that Maastricht [the base treaty of the European Union] is dead, but this was something the Germans didn’t want and stuck to enforcing fiscal rules.”
Zemmour wrote that globalization has no response to the crisis, with laws and free trade unable to halt the disease. Meanwhile, given the indifference and impotence of the Brussels bureaucrats, nation states are again becoming indispensable and unavoidable.
Zemmour is the author of “The French Suicide” and is known for his strong opposition against continued immigration to France. In a previous interview, he compared immigration in his country to a “demographic tsunami” and said he believes current immigration and integration policies have failed. He worked for the French channel RTL from 2010 to 2019.
Title image: French essayist Éric Zemmour (image: Jean-Christophe Marmara)