Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Is it time to dismantle the EU as we know it?

Posted by Jason O on Oct 30, 2012 in European Union, Irish Politics
The EU: Evolve to survive?

The EU: Evolve to survive?

There are beliefs that come from the gut. Religion is the most obvious one, but even that can be grounded in the reasoning that organised religion, and a set of organised religious values, can provide social stability. The same can be said for supporting the concept of monarchy.  For me, it’s always been the concept of a united Europe. I didn’t always feel this way. When I was in my teens I was a precocious Thatcherite eurosceptic (oh, was I ever that young?), and gradually had to accept that I was wrong. The more I visited the continent of Europe, and especially my visit to the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, the closer I came to the position that for both historical reasons  and for the pragmatic needs of the future, it made sense for Europe to integrate.

Nationalism is not, in itself, evil. But fidelity to it alone is an obstacle to progress, because we live in a world where borders are, at best, nominal. What convinced me of the need to support European integration was the fact that it recognised that the problems faced by one people are often either caused or resolved by the actions of another people. That is the fact of life on Earth in the 21st century, and European integration recognises that reality. 

However, that does not mean that European unity can be an ideology set in stone. There comes a time when we have to accept that if we are to have an integrated Europe, it must be on the basis of the consent of the majority of Europeans. It is, especially in recent times, where taxpayers in some parts of Europe are being asked to transfer billions to other parts, becoming at least arguable that such consent is not available. I say arguable: I don’t accept the argument put forward by some eurosceptics that most Europeans are against the EU. I don’t think most Europeans give the EU much thought at all. Nevertheless, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the EU in its current form does not have wide and enthusiastic consent. Nor is the EU delivering on many of its more ambitious objectives. In this context, I believe that it is time to imagine a new built-for-purpose structure to deliver the differing objectives of the peoples of Europe. Read more…

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