Hitting the reset button on Europe

By admin
7 Min Read

The European Union is in crisis and at a crossroads. Perhaps in response to this, the Brussels elite has decided to launch a series of conferences on the future of the Union this year. So the question is: Where do we go next?

Researching possible alternatives for the future, this time going back to the roots, I would like to point out that the idea of ​​returning to the spirit of the founding fathers of the Union, which has almost become commonplace, is fundamentally wrong from a national and sovereign perspective.

The fact is that the so-called founding fathers, albeit with different emphases, envisioned the future European community as a federal, supranational state. In contrast, we national sovereignists and conservatives envision — or would like to envision — the Union as a free alliance built from the bottom up by sovereign nations. So, if we insist that we return to the founding fathers and follow them, we are speaking against ourselves. Based on this reality, I suggest that we break away from this idea at this point because it is misleading.

The European public considers Robert Schuman to be the most emblematic founding father of the European Community, the common market and the European Union, simply because it was the French foreign minister who initiated the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) on May 9, 1950, on behalf of the French government, which can be seen as the first step in European integration. Since 1985, the historic date has been celebrated as “Europe Day” by the member states of the Union.

Robert Schuman, a faithful Catholic politician born in Lorraine with a French and German identity (otherwise cynically called a “Boche” by Charles de Gaulle), was indeed a key figure behind the idea of ​​European integration, cherishing for many years his plan to achieve European unity by overcoming national differences. Life gave him the opportunity to make his vision come true in 1950 under a lucky constellation.

It should be added quickly, however, that he had two very important helpers on this path. First, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who, in accordance with the will of the United States, urged the French government to do something for the integration of Germany and (Western) European countries. Needless to say, Acheson added the weight of the brutally affluent America to the issue, which had won a total victory in the war.

The other was Jean Monnet, a world citizen, originally a merchant and banker, who, as a kind of right hand and adviser to Schuman, thought from the beginning in a United States of Europe that would serve as a supranational, federalist state, but he imagined it would come much faster and more radically than Schuman. At the same time, the ECSC plan was not drawn up by Schuman, but by Monnet, Schuman gave his nod and did not change anything substantial, so the “ideas man” in this line-up was the radically globalist Monnet.

The Schuman vision was joined by the most affected party, the German Christian Democrats led by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who embraced Schuman’s idea with great enthusiasm. At the time, West Germany, after a severe defeat in World War II, had a fundamental interest in being able to rejoin Europe within the framework of European integration and in this way to make itself acceptable again to the peoples of (Western) Europe.

Adenauer was also willing to relinquish all or part of the sovereignty of the Germans for this noble cause, so he proposed as early as January 1950 that the industrial production of the Saarland region — the then industrial heartland of the country — be placed under international supervision. Moreover, in March 1950, he went as far as to recklessly propose a complete union between Germany and France to form one country.

In light of all of this, I simply wanted to prove that we cannot look for a solution by using the views of the founding fathers of the European Union because there we won’t find the solution but instead the roots of the problem of the current crisis.

Within Christianity, there is also a fault line between globalists and patriots, which is, for example, especially prevalent in the domestic field of politics. This is not a problem, as it can be countered in the spirit of Christian tolerance. Schuman’s views on faith and the role of Christianity in Europe are eternal but his ideas regarding political-institutional-constitutional law — from a sovereign, patriotic point of view — are fundamentally flawed. A nuanced approach is needed.

So, in short, the causes of the current crisis in the Union are to be found at the roots. Hence, I do not in the least suggest a return to the roots, on the contrary: by pulling up the roots, let us make a complete restart, creating a loose alliance of sovereign European states from the bottom up. That means we do not need patching up of the old alliance, but instead need to focus on making a new one.

Title image: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, and European Council President Charles Michel arrive for a meeting of the Conference of Presidents at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

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