The EU is a bold and unique project. It resembles less that of the United States of America and more that of the Soviet Union. Until the last decade the EU has been more or less a community of democratic nations. While the USSR was a communist dictatorship the EU has been following its steps last years due a full-on economic crisis. Vladimir Bukovsky a former soviet dissident, once made a comparison: ‘We were told, that the purpose of the Soviet Union is to create a a new historic entity, the soviet people, and that we must forget our nationalities, our ethnic traditions and customs. The same seems to be true to the European Union. They don’t want you to be British or French, they want you to be a new historic entity: European.’ There is amazing similarity in decision making between EU and ex-Soviet Union. USSR had also some “democratic” institutions like parliament and government, but the real power was in party machine and its “politburo”. Anyway as USSR already went so when will we celebrate EU remembrance Day.
The supranational organisation planned by Nazis?
'In 50 years' time nobody will think of nation states.' (Joseph Goebbels)
EU gratuitously got Nobel award as a peace project: to underscore the very reason that it was created on 9 May 1950, which was to limit any future wars or conflicts on the continent (more in my article Devaluation of Nobel Peace Prize Continues But EU Could Show Way For Better Crisis Management ). An alternative history shows that EU is continuation of war with economic means. This view came to my mind while reading about now published secret report about how Nazis were planning the Fourth Reich.
The document, also known as the Red House Report, is a detailed account of a secret meeting at the Maison Rouge Hotel in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. There, Nazi officials ordered an elite group of German industrialists to plan for Germany's post-war recovery, prepare for the Nazis' return to power and work for a 'strong German empire'. In other words: the Fourth Reich.detailed how the industrialists were to work with the Nazi Party to rebuild Germany's economy by sending money through Switzerland.
They would set up a network of secret front companies abroad. They would wait until conditions were right. And then they would take over Germany again. The industrialists included representatives of Volkswagen, Krupp and Messerschmitt. Officials from the Navy and Ministry of Armaments were also at the meeting and, with incredible foresight, they decided together that the Fourth German Reich, unlike its predecessor, would be an economic rather than a military empire - but not just German. The Third Reich was defeated militarily, but powerful Nazi-era bankers, industrialists and civil servants, reborn as democrats, soon prospered in the new West Germany. There they worked for a new cause: European economic and political integration.
Ludwig Erhard (economist) pondered how German industry could expand its reach across the shattered European continent. The answer was through supranationalism - the voluntary surrender of national sovereignty to an international body. German industrialists were also members of the European League for Economic Co-operation, an elite intellectual pressure group set up in 1946. The league was dedicated to the establishment of a common market, the precursor of the European Union. Ludwig Erhard flourished in post-war Germany. Adenauer made Erhard Germany's first post-war economics minister. In 1963 Erhard succeeded Adenauer as Chancellor for three years.
Germany and France were the drivers behind the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the precursor to the European Union. The ECSC was the first supranational organisation, established in April 1951 by six European states. It created a common market for coal and steel which it regulated. This set a vital precedent for the steady erosion of national sovereignty, a process that continues today. However one should remember that the German economic miracle – so vital to the idea of a new Europe - was built on mass murder and gold looted from the treasuries of Nazi-occupied countries and that a European federal state is inexorably tangled up with the plans of the SS and German industrialists for a Fourth Reich - an economic rather than military empire.
Note: I have summarized this secret report item from: The secret report that shows how the Nazis planned a Fourth Reich - in the EU by Adam Lebor
Forgetting EU’s organogram as illusion and speaking today's reality one can easily find different decision making practices in EU depending about importance of issue. Most important core group is cooperation between France and Germany sometimes earlier (pre-€) adding UK to group. Commission of course has great de facto power not only on implementation level but also designing proposals handled in EUs inner cores; the same can be said about bureaucrats in national ministries who are designing policies decided EU meetings at summit/ministry levels.
So where is this leaving European Parliament? It may handle some energy bulb level issues but honestly the whole institution seems to be unnecessary creation only to keep some democratic illusion on show. As EU citizens are not so stupid to keep his institution more than a puppet theatre they show their attitude by low turnout percentage. Before last EU Parliament elections I proposed and argumented (in my articleLet’s elect Donkey Parliament) why replacing MEPs with monkeys might not be so bad idea. Today EP is practical place to locate some second class politicians for retirement or out to not make any mess in national policy. They also can show good places to get fresh mussels while voters are visiting in EP as their quests. Designing EU policy happens anyway somewhere else.
Today there is increasing EU Out movement lead by Britain. Besides populist UKIP party many leading Tories are supporting cutting ties with Brussels. Former Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson supports a referendum for Britain to leave the EU while Michael Portillo, former Tory cabinet minister, describes the Euro as a "disaster" and says the UK does not share the EU's vision. The Tories might have their own motivation to pull out from EU (to save speculators and money laundry in London City) as well UKIP and other populist movements in EU (to keep poor immigrants out, rich ones can bye entrance anyway as usual) and leftist grassroot movements (to stop austerity measures). Whatever reasons are the aim is against EU's federalist development.
Quite common view is that EU is an opaque bureaucracy cut off from the citizens it was (publicly) intended to serve. The unofficial core and value of EU in my opinion is that EU is a system to protect, favor and facilitate the interests of big economic powers. A steady decline in voter turnout over the past three decades for European elections has lent credence to the idea that citizens feel increasingly estranged from the European project. The crisis appears to be making this worse by prompting politicians to rush through policies that concentrate more power in Brussels with limited public understanding or support.
From my point of view subsidiary principle should be widen so that more legislation should be implemented at national level and those few remaining issues could be decided between governments and implemented by slimmed European Commission and its agencies. With this approach the whole EP could be closed as useless extra body. This outcome – which I have called as EU lite version - is about the opposite to ongoing federalist tendency and indeed I support rebuilding EU with confederalist approach. This subject I dealt recently with my article My 1st May Manifesto .
The two dominating trends among EU leaders are to cut losses of players in virtual economy at the expense of taxpayers and to guide EU towards strict federation at the expense of democracy. (Ari Rusila)
After 63 years of existence of EU what do we have to celebrate? Financial speculators, banksters and EU elite can congratulate themselves for creating such a massive well connected system that it is hard to break. The citizens have enjoyed from few benefits such as student exchange programme, Schengen area and common agricultural policy which subsidized farmers to produce goods that nobody wanted, dumped excess supply on world markets creating falling incomes for world farmers. The decline of EU as actor in international politics continues with its disastrous European External Action Service (=foreign policy, EEAS) so that the union can concentrate to its core function as distributor of agricultural funds and as aggregate of high-flown statements. The present challenge is, how to distance unsatisfied citizens and state parliaments away from disturbing egocentric and sel-governing elite. I hope that grassroots finally will get fed up with this experiment and starts to demand some power back.