Most Europeans have little idea what the EU stands for in the world, what binds its people together, where it has come from in the past, and where it is going in the future. After more than 60 years of EU integration, 200,000 pages of legislation, and a hefty (and still growing) stack of treaties, we have succeeded in building a European Union without Europeans.Which fairly hits the nail on the head.
The EU has amassed extraordinary powers, but it has done so largely without consulting the people and without many of the basic safety valves we take for granted in a democracy. For example, nobody asked the German people whether they wanted to give up their beloved deutsche mark. The government simply made that decision for them, arguing that a single currency would be bound by strict rules -- which were later torn up by Paris and Berlin -- and that a currency union would not lead to a transfer of wealth from rich to poor states -- which has proved to be false.He concludes,
In most democracies, if you don't like a government you can vote it out. In the EU system this is impossible. Neither the European Commission nor its president -- the nearest thing the EU has to an executive arm -- is directly elected. The president of the European Council, currently Belgian politician Herman Van Rompuy, was not popularly elected to his post. The two legislative bodies of the EU, the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, are largely made up of elected officials, but few Europeans bother to vote for the former, and changing your own representation in the latter is unlikely to have much impact on the collective policy of 27 nation-states.
Rather than bringing the European Union closer to its citizens, the currency has widened the gap between rulers and ruled. Instead of ushering in a new era of prosperity, the euro has condemned millions of Europeans to decades of penury. And far from bringing together the peoples of Europe, it is on the verge of tearing them apart.Which is unarguable and is what we in UKIP have been banging on about for years. However to see this written by Gareth Harding is a surprise. This is him waxing lyrical in his optimism a mere two years ago,
The EU, which emerged from the ashes of a world war that left Europe shattered, humiliated and sidelined, is now the world's biggest economic power, exporter, trading bloc, aid donor and foreign investor. For most of the world Europe is not just the name of a continent; it is the dream of a better life.