The European Union cannot — or at the very least should not — continue in its present form if it wants to gain real weight in the global arena and offer its citizens a meaningful future, political analyst Tamás Fricz wrote in a column in conservative daily Magyar Nemzet:
First things first: The European Council’s agreement on the seven-year budget was a success for the Visegrád Group and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in particular. He did a great job bringing billions of additional euros to Hungary.
On the other hand, this autumn is expected to further reveal the massive fault lines between the two fundamental trends present in Europe, with the globalist liberals on one side and the proponents of national sovereignty on the other.
In the first sign of trouble, the European Parliament, dominated by the liberal mainstream, has already questioned the EU summit agreement and the repercussions are currently unpredictable. This is why, in a larger context, I believe that the EU is in crisis and it cannot be excluded that the whole European project could become paralyzed and even fall apart.
While there are several future scenarios for the EU, it has for some time been quite obvious that it is ineffective both in asserting its interests on the global arena and producing sustainable economic growth because it lacks coherent goals, organic unity and is plagued by internal divisions.
This does not mean that I agree with the current leaders of the EU who, from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Donald Tusk, are pushing for an “ever closer union”, which would amount to a super-federalist United States of Europe.
On the contrary, I am saying the opposite.
Admitting that the EU lacks unity in its present form does not mean that one should establish said unity by any means necessary but rather that the current crisis shows as that the formation’s current structure is not conducive to unity.
Any top-down attempt at creating that union instead of building upwards from the national level is doomed to failure.
At the same time, the fault line between the federalist West (and North) and the sovereignist Central and Eastern Europe is also a conflict between visionaries and realists. This is because the facts of the past few decades have clearly demonstrated that full federalism is impossible, as it does not meet the interests of most member states and could only forcibly be maintained through sanctions, which in turn can only lead to strife and conflicts.
Earlier this year, the “frugal four” states of Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, kept saying that while they are for European unity, that unity should manifest itself in political and value agreements instead of financial matters. A clever argument, to be sure. What they are really saying is that the Central European nations should unconditionally accept the values dictated by the West and in exchange they will be allowed to take out loans whose interest must be paid by the generations to come.
The German presidency of the European Union has just begun and the federalist Angela Merkel, helped by France’s Emmanuel Macron, will do everything to impose these “common values” on Central Europe and start building the United States of Europe.
We are at a crossroads, as shortly we will have some sort of answer to the question “Quo vadis, Union?” This will also define our future within — or in a worst-case scenario — outside the Union.