After having posted on FB what follows, I've been thinking more about the subject, hence this long preamble, which is also a reason why I'm adding it to Viewfinder. Another reason is that as I am spending perhaps more time than I should, making a nuisance of myself on FB, certainly with regards to this particular subject, Viewfinder is being even more neglected.

I've been thinking about how historic events effect the relationships between European nations as well as communities within European nations. It brings to mind the time when I was in a Dutch hospital after a road accident. An old man walked up to my bed and called me a 'rot moffer'. I probably smiled stupidly not then knowing what 'rot moffer' meant, but it's probable that he thought I was German, and was then already old enough to have suffered from the war, so no doubt it was his way of wishing me not to get well very soon.

The French Revolution left similar open wounds. The Vendéens, being particularly faithful to their Catholic religion, suffered terribly for it. Events in Scotland such as the despicable massacre of Glen Coe will never be forgotten, nor forgiven. In any case the cultural gap between the Scottish and the English is legendary. Needless to say the Battle of the Boyne left its sanguineous mark in Ireland, but heedlessly the Protestants continue their Orange day March to keep the embers glowing. (It would be as though the allies marched through Berlin every year to celebrate victory against Nazi Germany. But the Battle of the Boyne took place in 1690!).

During the Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659) there was the Catalonian Revolution (1640-1659) against the cumbersome presence of the Royal Spanish army, consequently Catalonia then became a republic under the French protectorate, at least for a while. The Basques in France as well as the Basques in Spain have always aspired to conserve their identity and have fought for their independence. The Corsicans have too, of course. The Bavarians of southern Germany would never associate themselves with the Prussians of northern Germany. And regarding Belgium, there is an enormous cultural difference between the Flemish and the Walloons, even though the nation is a relatively small. The Flemish of northern Belgium speak Dutch and are more rural than the French speaking Walloons of Wallonia who identify themselves more with the French.

Naturally every nation of Europe has its own internal history which is also a precious reference. Had one referred the history of Ukraine, instead of clumsily imposing one's will with little or no regard to democracy and diplomacy, the outcome could have been more positive for all concerned.

All this to say that in view of the scars of history, and the continued conflicts of interest within nations, the idea of federalising Europe and pretending that we are one big happy family, is a utopian pipe dream.
However, it is understandable and even commendable that the younger generation likes this idea, but it has to evolve naturally, gradually and democratically. Obviously it can never be imposed. If it were, the consequences would be disastrous.

In any case the present situation created by the EU executive and the German Chancellor, is such that there is already a serious confidence crisis. Brexit should have been enough to sound the alarm bell, but the establishment continues obliviously. Understandably, more and more Europeans are losing all faith.


It seems that the problem with Europe now, is that a minority have too much power. In the case of Merkel, still Chancellor of Germany, she appears to believe she is also the Chancellor of Europe. This to such an extent that she doesn't hesitate in dictating what she believes should be implemented. If, for example, she believes that Russia is a dangerous enemy, she seems to assume that all Europeans should consider Russia as a dangerous enemy. If she says that terrorism has got nothing to do with Islam, then she considers that Europeans should also accept this absurdity.
Similarly, Juncker is for open borders. He therefore takes it for granted that all Europeans are, or should be, for open borders.

Most nations have a constitution that morally obliges them to accept refugees for as long as they need asylum. No nation has a constitution that obliges them to accept unassimilable Muslim migrants on an permanent basis, yet Merkel and Juncker insist that each European nation accept a given quota of such migrants in spite of all the negative consequences.

This already being the case when European nations still have a fair amount of national sovereignty, what would be the situation in a federalised Europe? Logically it would be even worse, far worse.

Compared to Europe, the history of the USA only begins with the founding fathers, the pilgrim colonists of the 17th century (1607). For good reason many Americans therefore still identify with their national, European roots.
Naturally the USA was born from the War of Independence, under Washington, but it also took the civil war, and Lincoln, and the consequent constitution to establish the necessary foundations.
In Europe there is no Washington or Lincoln. There are no inspired ideals or pledges of allegiance. Root religion that Europe developed from, is largely despised and dismissed by the Eurocrats. The latter are engrossed in pricing Brussel sprouts, etc., but above them, the ideologues, who are intolerant to nationality, root religion and root identity, are ironically welcoming many thousands, if not millions of migrants who wish to impose their own 7th century ideology and laws, and who reject democracy and refuse to integrate, being more prone to adhere to the decrees of their Quran.

Yet in spite of this sad lack of European soul and solidarity, in spite of this immigration inanity, the greatest idiocy of our epoch, one still stoically believes that we can federalise Europe.
Text and image © Mirino. July, 2017