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The EU is blind to the crisis it is making for itself

An identity crisis rives the EU – an impasse between, on the one hand, the EU Commission and, on the other hand, Poland and Hungary. It is unfolding at a time when the EU faces seismic pressures from militarization – even war, as well as the ongoing effects of the pandemic- related lockdown, and the social and political consequences of escalating inflationary pressures.

The impasse amounts to a standoff between what the philosopher Roger Scruton called a ‘False Europe’ and its escalating war of attrition on the foundational values of the ‘Real Europe’. These values are embedded in the Christian Democratic tradition of Schumann and Adenauer and, to the chagrin of a thoroughly progressive EU establishment, resonate with the Constitutions of Poland and Hungary.

These two very distinctive European nations have a shared and relatively recent experience of political oppression under Soviet Communism.  Both nations experienced the suppression of their national identity, their culture and religious freedom, together with the democratic freedoms exercised, as of right, by sovereign nations. Once upon a time so did Ireland. But you won’t find the Irish Government dissenting from the woke mainstream. It knows it’s place.

Poland, and Hungary, now see the ‘Europe’, of which they are, and wish to be, an integral part threatened by an increasingly repressive ‘False Europe’. The EU and mainstream social media have used the power of overwhelmingly one-sided narrative to ‘nudge’ the perceptions of Poland and Hungary. Phrases like ‘Democratic Backsliding’, ‘ Strongman’ and ‘Autocratic’ trip lightly from the pens of mainstream editorials and columnists.

We need to reflect. Because it just might be that we are being deflected away from a threat to all that post war- Europe once stood for, and that is hidden in plain sight. Europe is divided. It propagates a culture of decline and death which has contributed to an unprecedented demographic winter across Europe.

The seriousness of the threat to Europe was spelled out by Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki at the October 2021 EU Summit.

“I am asking you to hear Polish arguments, to refer to them, and to be open to dialogue…”

Then he went on:  “a dangerous phenomenon threatens the future of our Union. We ought to be anxious about the gradual transformation of the Union into an entity that would cease to be an alliance of free, equal and sovereign states, and instead become a single, centrally managed organism, run by institutions deprived of democratic control by the citizens of European”.

In other words, the real threat to democratic freedoms and all that the EU once stood for is now primarily from within. Prime Minister Morawiecki’s reference to “…our Union” is pivotal to any open- mind reflection on what the EU has become and where it has taken Europe.  The Polish/ Hungarian perspective has been ‘airbrushed’ out of the post-Summit political narrative.

The EU is not a Union that ‘belongs’ to France, or Germany, or their hegemonistic satellites. It does not belong to the EU Commission, whose mission is to serve and deepen these same foundational values– not to displace them. It is not the construct of those oblivious to the roots of EU in a free association of sovereign nations—or who have never reflected that  Hungary ’56,  Prague ’68 and Warsaw 1980/1 happened in Eastern Europe. No ideology can claim ownership of, or cede, the EU’s founding values to a repressive ideology of critical theorists– the antithesis of the EU’s founding values and mission.

Mr Morawiecki’s appeal for dialogue was ‘crowded out’ by the vitriolic clamour of the establishment, notably France, that was tuned to ‘mute’.  Former German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, was alone among EU leaders at the Summit in chiding the criticisms of Poland by parts of the European Parliament.

Dr Merkle, at her last Summit, pointed out what I call ‘the inconvenient truth’ confronting the EU. Namely, that what is at issue is not is not just a Polish – or Hungarian, or a Slovenian – ‘problem’. Alienation from the ‘False Europe’ is more widespread than the Commission dare admit – and it is increasing.

She did not take the same view on the future of Europe – and its opaque, even Delphic, ‘ever closer Union’ – as Poland and Hungary do. Even so, her interventions at the Summit are central  in understanding the nature and depth of EU’s identity crisis at a time when it is poised at the ‘event horizon’ of a European war – again.

She warned that the impasse risks getting into a ‘downward spiral’ – and that it would not, repeat not, be resolved in the Courts. It has, in fact, got worse, and the EU is now imposing tens of millions of euros in fines on the people of Poland – as well as limiting access to funding to which Poland like every other member country is entitled.

This is ostensibly in support of “Rule of Law”. The irony is wholly lost on an EU elite lacking any semblance of self- awareness. It is just a decade since the European members of the ‘Troika presided over the tear- gassing of Greek pensioners on the streets of Athens. ‘Rule  of Law’ indeed! Poland and Hungary learned more than a little about “Rules of Law” under Soviet Communism

It is being leveraged to bring Poland and Hungary into line with the EU’s aggressively secularist anti- Christian ideology.  It is a trojan horse –a segue to the repression of normative values and a humane and ‘Family Friendly’ economy that stands against the “False Europe”.

As one insightful law professor recently noted: “Rule of Law” is being used by the EU establishment for its political purposes. “In other words, a panoply of moral and political disagreements has been packaged up, bound together and labelled as “Rule of Law concerns”.

Using a “Rule of Law” gambit to limit access to funding –to which both nations are entitled –  an ideologically colonized EU seeks to impose de facto sanctions on member nations, undermining their economies and increasing their vulnerability.

The ‘conditionality’ attaching to the Pandemic Fund has nothing to do with the original purpose of supporting post Pandemic macroeconomic stabilization. It has everything to do with exacting submission from two nations that have rejected both dependency on Brussels – and its ideological agenda. And yet, it has not worked.

This is a real problem for the ‘False Europe’ who constantly appropriate Schumann’s name, while pushing policies that he would never have countenanced. An ideologically colonised EU is limited in its ability to directly attack the national values of Poland and Hungary that are, after all,  authentically European – values in which Adenauer and Schumann believed but whose names have appropriated by the ‘ False Europe’ for its own ideological purposes.

It has, therefore, been forced to pursue an indirect attack on the Constitution of Poland and Hungary. Thus, the “Rule of Law” gambit seeks to legitimise political threats, limiting access to normal  EU funding arrangements and fiscal blackmail in the form of ‘conditionality’ attaching to the Pandemic Fund.

Christian Democracy and the Founding Fathers vision for Europe embraced marriage, family and children. That is precisely what Hungary and Poland’s Constitutions, and their fiscal and stabilization policies (notably those of Hungary), are based on. This has made them the epicentre of vitriolic attacks by the EU and the hegemonists – notably in the European Parliament. Christian Marriage and Family were suppressed under Soviet Communism. They were the core of democratic and national resistance – the ‘underground’ and the domestic church’. They were also at the heart of rebuilding national values, democracy, and the social and economic policies that give substance to democracy. It’s ironic then that Marriage and Family including family size are discriminated against by the EU– and it shows in demographic trends.

It was only in 2021 that Hungary’s population replacement rate returned to levels that existed prior to the socialist administration – from an all-time low of 1.2 under a socialist administration in 2008 , back up to 1.96. Hungary’s post- Sovereign Debt adjustment stabilization programme was configured around ‘Family Friendly’ economic and social policies – acknowledging that our children are our future, the future of our nation – and of the EU.

Hungary has succeeded, through pro family policies, in reversing demographic decline, which is set to expand like permafrost across all of Europe by 2050.

Demographically, the EU has been running on empty for decades. The economic consequences of falling marriage and birth rates together with non- medical abortion across the EU are bleak. They include labour shortages – upwards of 5 million in Germany by the end of the decade, according to Bloomberg. They mean rural depopulation, emigration of young adults, unsustainable burdens on health and social care, and public finances. In a recent speech, Dr Draghi warned of this existential burden “Italy without children is an Italy that doesn’t have a place in the future…. (It is) an Italy that is slowly ceasing to exist.”

Hungary’s pro marriage and pro family fiscal and structural policies are an exemplar to an EU sleepwalking into a demographic winter that threatens it’s sustainability. But you will search very hard for any acknowledgement by the EU Commission.

The demographic winter wasn’t once referred to in the EU 2021 State of the Union Speech. The EU and Germany prefer to rely on the neo-colonial policy of emigration – a malign form of intellectual theft of countries most precious asset – its young people. The EU is far too busy with ‘greening’ and ‘digitising and ‘militarisation’ to engage with what matters most to the future of families and to the sustainability of Europe.

Both Hungary and Poland democratically elected member nations, committed to Christian democratic principles and a normative human anthropology. They stand against EU policies that overtly and by stealth seek to deconstruct the natural family, incentivise the marginalization of marriage, push down on the number of children. Policies that prioritize militarisation over marriage. Both countries have resisted blandishment, threats and fiscal blackmail. They have, unlike Ireland, refused to roll over and rejected the trap of dependency and ideological ‘capture’.

The unanswerable question for a colonised ‘False Europe’ is this: how can it legitimise the enforcement of policies against Poland and Hungary that are the antithesis of all that Schuman and Adenauer believed in –policies that are morally repugnant to national sensibilities and demonstrably damaging to the sustainability of the nation and the EU itself? Poland and Hungary and every other member nation cannot be subservient to Treaty provisions that are effectively a form of national ‘self-harm’.

EU is tone deaf to the necessity of critiquing it’s oppressive Woke hegemony, preferring to turn their back on Schumann and Adenauer—while paying lip service to their names in the pursuit of their very different agenda, dictated by critical theorists. The EU is in denial of an identity crisis that threatens its founding mission, it’s unity of purpose and it’s sustainability in its present form.

 

 

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