Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

April 23, 2014

Why EU is not your dad's Europe

The important-sounding Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union has recently reiterated “its strong support for Ukraine’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

Poor, destabilized, post-putsch Ukraine is to be congratulated for receiving something none of the 28 countries that actually belongs to the EU ever does: support for its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. (”Unity” is a more complicated matter, given the EU’s reflexive pox on separatist movements that might prefigure the breakup of the EU itself.) As the world’s pre-eminent transnational entity since the breakup of the USSR, the EU is all about eradicating its members’ sovereignty, independence and borders.

This, of course, is not something most Americans are aware of. When we hear talk of “Europe” vs. Russia, or the importance of extending “European values,” most Americans typically envision our longtime allies as they used to be — sovereign and independent within historical national borders. Their dedication to the democratically enshrined rights of their citizens as guaranteed for more than half a century, mainly by U.S. power, is beyond question.

It shouldn’t be. Anyone who thinks the bureaucratically grotesque and anti-democratic superstate model hit the junk heap of history with the USSR in 1991 needs to look more closely at the bureaucratically grotesque and anti-democratic Brussels monolith.

For starters, the elected members of the European Parliament may not introduce legislation or even introduce the repeal of legislation. Instead, they may (and frequently do) rubber stamp legislation for their member-states — much, as leading Soviet dissident leader Vladimir Bukovsky has pointed out, in the tradition of the old Supreme Soviet. All legislation and decision-making come from the unelected members of the EU’s executive body, the European Commission, which Bukovsky compares to the old Politburo. (Some of the 28 EU commissioners are even former Communist apparatchiks.) Little wonder Bukovsky has dubbed the EU the “EUSSR.” With co-author Pavel Stroilov, Bukovsky documented 1980s-era discussions between Western and Soviet leaders recorded in Soviet archives that foreshadow the rise of the collectivist European superstate in a 2004 booklet titled “EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration.”

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