When I was young, and first became interested in world politics and history, I always wondered why Europe didn’t confederate itself as the U.S. had done and operate as a single group. I have also wondered the same sort of thing about other parts of the world, like a confederation in North America – Canada, the U.S. and Mexico – and one in South America, creating its own group.
Much to my amazement, now that I am old, those things may be slowly happening. After all, as a group, the European countries back then were about equal to us in population and size, and not much behind us in industrial output and trade. I was delighted when I finally saw the EU form, and heard those countries began to speak with a single voice. Of course, like everyone else, I had no idea what forming Europe into the EU would mean for the member countries or for the world.
Problems began to form at once, as ministers in Belgium began to order member countries to do things that were counter to their nations' cultures and customs. Countries were forced to take immigrants from other parts of the world, many of whom refused to integrate in any way, creating their own little enclaves of foreign disunity.
Government orders and laws created by the individual countries were overridden and countermanded, while ever-increasing “dues” were demanded from the wealthy countries – mostly Germany – to pay for outrageous pension plans and boondoggles in the poorer countries. Can you say Greece? As a result, Germany began to control things more and more. After having been forced to subdue Germany twice in the first half of the 20th century, the other countries of Europe were never going to allow Germany to control them over without a fight.
Britain especially rejected the foreign EU intervention into its internal politics and business dealings, and began to slowly pull away from the EU, culminating in a complete break last year. Other countries are re-evaluating their involvement with the EU, and some are also slowly pulling back from allowing the EU to dominate them.
My suspicion is that in the long-run, only the poorer countries – Greece, for example – will stay and continue to suck lifeblood from Germany, while others – like France, Italy and Switzerland – will chart their own paths. In 10 years, the EU will contain fewer Western European countries, more Eastern European countries, and will still controlled by Germany, as those countries strive for some protection from the Russian Bear to their East.
Dr. Jonathan C. Jobe, of Crescent Valley, is a retired educator and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.