Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.
How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?
The EU Defence Force
Earlier this year, the EU voted to “punish” one of its own members, Hungary, for the internal policies of its elected government. To be clear about this – whatever you think of Viktor Orban, he was elected by the people of Hungary. He is their legally recognised democratic leader. Hungary voted for him – in contrast, Hungary did NOT vote for any of the 448 MEPs who supported the motion, posed by Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini, that:
The Hungarian people deserve better…They deserve freedom of speech, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and equality, all of which are enshrined in the European treaties.”
Note that “democracy” is not included on that list. “Tolerance”, “justice” and “equality”, but not democracy. A Freudian slip, perhaps.
The European Parliament vote was, itself, a corrupt nonsense – one in which abstentions were disregarded so the 2/3rds majority could be reached. Forcing through a bill that, essentially, calls for a change of regime in Hungary via:
appropriate measures to restore inclusive democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights in Hungary”
One suggested punishment – “The Nuclear Option” – is a loss of voting rights. Hungary would still be a member of the EU, would still have to pay into the EU, would still have to obey all EU laws and regulations, but would no longer have a say in what those laws were.
This would, notionally, be in defence of “inclusive democracy”.
How long before disapproval and punishment of certain leaders turns into outright removal? Can we really say that would never happen?
This month, Paris (and other French cities) have seen the massive Gilets Jaunes protests against the fuel tax,