EU nar­cis­sism leads to slow col­lapse

Geopo­lit­i­cal notes notes from from In­dia In­dia

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - M D Nala­pat

fact that the UK wel­comes mafiosi from Ro­ma­nia into its cities while deny­ing techies from Hyderabad or Chennai in In­dia the op­por­tu­nity of liv­ing and work­ing in Bri­tain, even though th­ese lat­ter would gen­er­ate huge vol­umes of tax­a­tion for the state, as well as con­trib­ute to GNP in a way far su­pe­rior to that of most of the hun­dreds of thou­sands from East Europe who ev­ery year cross into the UK to stay. Hope­fully, de­spite hints of racism dur­ing the Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, the US will re­tain the ad­van­tage it has by be­ing far more colour-blind than the Euro­pean Union in wel­com­ing pro­fes­sion­als to its shores.

If the coun­tries in Asia were ever to con­cert on such mat­ters in the way they ought to, sev­eral of the largest economies in Europe would face sanc­tions from Asia be­cause of the re­al­ity of EU dis­crim­i­na­tion against those from the world’s largest con­ti­nent in favour of those from the world’s small­est. The Euro­pean Union has be­come a ve­hi­cle for squeez­ing money from the rest of the world to throw at coun­tries and re­gions in Europe that are be­hind star per­form­ers, thereby cre­at­ing a cul­ture of de­pen­dence and a cost struc­ture that is un­sus­tain­able for pur­poses of global com­pe­ti­tion. Ne­go­ti­at­ing any agree­ment with the EU has be­come an ex­as­per­at­ing process, be­cause of need to sat­isfy each need of its more than two dozen mem­bers rather than work out out­comes that are bet­ter bal­anced and less one-sided.

It is true that the US too seeks to im­pose a “my way or the high­way” code in its ne­go­ti­a­tions, es­pe­cially with poorer coun­tries, but the fact is that the US is a sin­gle coun­try while the EU only pre­tends to be a uni­fied en­tity. In ac­tu­al­ity, the East Euro­pean mem­bers in par­tic­u­lar have each be­come adept in se­cur­ing as much ad­van­tage Email: mg­nala­ as pos­si­ble from the EU as they can get away with, in­clud­ing se­cur­ing con­ces­sions from the rest of the world through the in­ter­ces­sion of the big­ger economies in the al­liance. Given the steady down­siz­ing of the cost and tech­no­log­i­cal ad­van­tages of Euro­pean en­ti­ties glob­ally, mem­ber­ship of the EU is be­com­ing a neg­a­tive rather than an ad­van­tage, given the bur­den (of poorer mem­bers) that need to be car­ried by the stronger, a birder that is has­ten­ing the col­lapse of French com­pet­i­tive­ness and which will soon drain away the edge that Ger­man com­pa­nies now pos­sess, given that Ber­lin will need to fill the cash sub­sidy vac­uum cre­ated by London’s exit.

Through­out Europe, the telling of his­tory as a seam­less ta­pes­try of en­dow­ing civil­i­sa­tion in dis­tant shores by the in­ter­ven­tion of Euro­pean coun­tries has led to a nos­tal­gia that has gen­er­ated the im­pulse to re­peat his­tory, of course with less blood­shed and ob­vi­ous con­trol this time around. A united Europe was seen as the path­way to­wards the re­gain­ing of pri­macy by the con­ti­nent, just as the su­pe­ri­or­ity of the Euro­pean worker over coun­ter­parts in other con­ti­nents was as­sumed in the pol­icy of seek­ing to give a mo­nop­oly to such work­ers within the EU rather than open the doors to mi­gra­tion of those with skills. Of course, the EU has now got the worst of both worlds. It is hav­ing to cope with a flood of mi­grants with in­de­ter­mi­nate skills and un­cer­tain loy­al­ties, while at the same time block­ing those (mainly from Asia) who would have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to lo­cal economies but are not al­lowed en­try be­cause they are not of Euro­pean eth­nic­ity.

Of course, those of such eth­nic­ity are al­ways wel­comed into the EU, whether they tech­ni­cally be cit­i­zens of coun­tries in Asia, Africa or South Amer­ica, even while fel­low cit­i­zens from th­ese lo­ca­tions who are of nonEuro­pean eth­nic­ity con­tinue to be ex­cluded. Just as was the case ear­lier in Europe, eth­nic­ity is at the core of pol­i­cy­mak­ing in Brus­sels The choice of “Brexit” ( or leav­ing the EU) by the Bri­tish peo­ple is likely to see the rise of sim­i­lar sen­ti­ment in France and Ger­many, the two coun­tries that have fash­ioned the EU into a club de­signed to look ex­clu­sively after the in­ter­ests of those from the con­ti­nent and their eth­nic kin out­side. In France, it is be­com­ing very prob­a­ble that Ma­rine Le Pen may get elected the next Head of State, while in the US, although there is a fren­zied ef­fort by the Washington Belt­way to de­mol­ish the chances of Don­ald Trump, the fact re­mains that in com­ing months, rev­e­la­tions of mis­con­duct by those linked to the Clin­tons may yet crip­ple Hil­lary Clin­ton’s drive to win back res­i­dence in the White House.

Given the way West Europe has hob­bled it­self in com­pet­i­tive terms by its Kohl-like gen­eros­ity to­wards East and South Europe, eco­nomic growth is likely to slow down even more, lead­ing to the elec­tion of “right na­tion­al­ist” par­ties that say openly what the EU would like to hide away in a closet of si­lence, that the Euro­pean ex­per­i­ment is about eth­nic­ity and the pre­sump­tion of su­pe­ri­or­ity over other com­ers. After Brexit, there is likely to be a Frexit, when France bids good­bye, fol­lowed by Gerxit, the de­par­ture of Ger­many from EU, leav­ing it a club of coun­tries in South and East Europe. June 23 vote in the UK is likely to be start of a slow process of melt­down of a po­lit­i­cal con­struct that re­fused to ac­knowl­edge that un­less each coun­try sees it­self in global rather than in nar­rowly con­ti­nen­tal terms, it will fi­nally fall be­hind oth­ers who are more open-minded —The writer is Vice-Chair, Ma­ni­pal Ad­vanced Re­search Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Pro­fes­sor of Geopol­i­tics, Ma­ni­pal Univer­sity, Haryana State, In­dia.

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