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The Continent’s Different Eurosepticism 27 May 2006

Posted by David in Europe.

An interesting piece in the Telegraph about the EU Constitution Burning EU Flagand, in particular, the No votes last year. The article is right in saying that we shouldn't read the No votes as they would be read in Britain. That is, the French and Dutch voted No, not because they are anti-integration, but because the package of integration offered wasn't what they wanted. Most people on the Continent are in favour of a stronger EU, scared of global capitalism and seeking protection that they, wrongly, feel a United Europe could do. Britain traditionally has a different mindset to Europe, based more in liberalism and individual freedoms. The Continent is more 'protectionist', more accepting and actually welcoming of state control, and reacting strongly to change. The relation between state and individual is totally different, far more deferential to political elites who they somehow trust, and more cautious of individuals whom they fear having too much freedom.

The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? – Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

A look at any Eurobarometer poll shows almost all EU countries other than the UK seeing globalisation as a threat that the EU can hold back – somewhat like Canute perhaps. We must accept the differences between our nations and celebrate them. The concept of integration should be shunned as each must be free; self-government must be our aim in all foreign policy surely.

Any form of 'intégration' or ' fédération' must be shunned,” instead, “the key requisites must rather be 'concertation' , 'entente' and ‘rapprochement’, for each state has its own identity, its own history, its own language, its tragedies, triumphs and ambitions” – Charles De Gaulle (1890-1970) 


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