“The geopolitical situation makes this Europe’s hour: the time for European sovereignty has come,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week, staking a big claim for the future in this year’s State of the Union Address.
Juncker wants the EU to be a shiny new “global player,” but shies from the word that comes immediately to mind: “We have to be super,” Juncker clarifies, “but not a superpower.”
The big question is how Juncker’s ramped-up globalism would serve European citizens. Juncker itches to build a “More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union,” but his biggest problem may be that the people seem increasingly iffy on this whole unity thing.
Brexit is only the most spectacular popular rebellion.
“The Visegrad nations of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic,” the Washington Times noted yesterday, have balked at EU migration policies, and “all face EU legal sanctions.” Meanwhile, “Populist governments have been elected in Italy and Austria, where voters are sick and tired of the constant intrusions into their lives by Brussels.”
And on Wednesday the EU enacted Article 13, an intrusive copyright law that Net activists have dubbed a “meme killer” capable of destroying “the Internet as we know it.”
While Juncker talks about Europe taking “destiny into its own hands,” Europeans seem more interested in taking their government into their own hands.
After all, it is not as if Europeans cannot prosper in a world economy without confederation — much less something much more, a stronger central bureaucratic authority.
European states could, for instance, adopt free trade. It would make them richer and the world safer.
And they could, in addition, junk Juncker.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.