Sunday, 18 December 2011
"The harsh reality is that the EU has already failed"
It is not only right-wing tories who are turning against the European Union in the UK. Even the left-leaning Guardian´s columnist Deborah Orr, who "always believed in the European ideal", now concedes that the "harsh reality is that the EU has already failed":
The desperate assumption is that the eurozone is "too big to fail", as the banks were. Would it, like the banks, simply continue quite blatantly with its bad habits, its unsquarable contradictions, if the money to bail it out could be found? The harsh reality is that it has failed already, with only fear of disorderly and unpredictable collapse keeping alive the vestiges of its grand ambitions. The trouble is that Europe, politically as well as economically, was a fine idea, but, in practice, was always hopelessly compromised. Even its supposed democratic accountability is faked. The election of members of the European parliament is more like the election of civil servants than politicians. The only high-profile MEPs tend to be those who gained their seat in order to argue against the EU's very existence.
As for the heads of state who make the political decisions, there are already more unelected people at the top table than is right or acceptable. But the technocrats are accepted anyway. Cameron may have opted out of talks on the Cannes treaty. But, as it turns out, his "people" will still be there, still throwing in their tuppence-worth, in the search for a formula that will appease "the markets". The democratic deficit in Europe has always been problematic, and now is teetering on absurd. This is not what Europe was supposed to be. I have always believed in the European ideal. But it is a struggle to identify, in the current mess, where any true expression of that ideal resides.
Amid all the concern and worry over the enormity of the task of propping up Europe lies a nagging feeling that if this institution really is too big, too dominant, too all-encompassing to fail, then it is also too big, too unwieldy, too powerful to succeed. How can something so significant and untouchable be brought to heel? What other institution could have the power to rein in such a behemoth? The IMF? Who wants it to rule the world?
Read the entire article here