The EU has serially failed people. Increased union was forced against people’s will with majorities in the Netherlands and France voting against the constitution that reincarnated undemocratically as the Lisbon treaty. A currency was designed to force political integration for political purposes.
In hindsight the Eurosceptic Britons who nevertheless love Europe have been right almost consistently. Some have homes in France and Spain, some spend their money vacationing in Greece and other destinations. Love French wine and cuisine, travel with their soccer teams to the wonderful temples of Spain and Italy. Frequent the Dutch museums and coffee shops. What’s not to love about our Europe? The answer is: the EU that is home to the arrogant bureaucrats who think they know what’s best for us and don’t see E pluribus unum.
I don’t share in the easy criticism of the EU; the EU as an institution too is composed out of human beings who try to balance interests and like in Washington none has been elected to go there in order to increase the gridlock and bureaucracy. But destructive euroscepticism is arriving as a reality in the majority of European minds. It will resonate to the populists who sing the song of narrow nationalist primacy over all the delights of our necessary commons.
Do you see the huge mandate that David Cameron has? He and Merkel have the unique opportunity to reshape Europe into something that doesn’t try to fit us all in the same mold but that does justice to the diversity and uniqueness, that revitalizes our union. Cameron has grown in his role, he was central to the new EU budget and maybe he can achieve the impossible and renew Europe. Frankly I don’t see him do it but the alternatives all are terribly depressing. But as a Dutchman I can’t but believe the British will sooner or later come to our rescue, that’s the pattern. Better sooner.
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