October 12, 2010
Today’s politicians and political journalists seem to try to set the readers’ mind against nationalism. A month ago The Washington Post published an article, warning Europeans to take serious the rise of nationalist movements, as they put the existence of the EU at risk. The author also says that European infrastructure is dimmed by national level political actors.
People are wrong when saying “(…) renationalization of politics has been occurring across the E.U. One of the starker signs of trouble came in 2005, when Dutch and French voters rejected a constitutional treaty that would have consolidated the E.U.’s legal and political character”. It’s not pure “renationalization” what we’ve witnessed in the past couple of years, but the lack of effectiveness of the cooperation between national and supranational levels. Nationalism – in my view – is the way of national level policy-making which has national interests in sight (and should be separated from chauvinism). Eventually, this is how socialist, socialdemocrats, conservatives, liberals (etc.) can be nationalist.
The idea of the BeNeLux cooperation as well as the Schuman Plan and Monnet’s perception of integration grew from the post-war vagueness of Europe. The continent was being rebuilt in political, economic and social terms back in the day, by the realization that security is only ensured if the military potentials are turn in a different direction than before. This is why Germany (rich in coal) and France (rich in steel and iron ore) joined forces to become the backbone of today’s Union.
Those, who support a kind of federalism and the nationalists too, have to understand that they depend on each other. “Global government is unlikely in the twenty-first century, but various degrees of global governance already exist” – wrote Joseph S. Nye and indeed. The efforts of a post-war integration were backed by the fear of a new bloodshed, but now it’s about being able to take part in forming this “various degrees of global governance”. Especially because “such institutions are rarely self-sufficient. They still require the leadership of great powers”. Separately it’s out of question.
The Union is supposed to play a role, complementing the member states – that means that neither the member states should worry about the integration, nor the Union should be afraid of the existence of national thinking. The future of the European states and the Union is bound together. European integration is developed by national interests from the beginning to present days, even if the proportion of the mixture of intergovernementalism and supranationalism has changed a lot – and is going to change.
I’m convinced that member states (no matter what kind of governments lead them, even less matter what kind of parties they have in the opposition benches) are aware of their responsibility concerning the European integration. In the past six years the Union has gone throught an in-depth change, both politically and “institutionally”. The EU15 became EU27, and the Eastern-European conditions represent brand new challenges in Europe. The European internal affairs have been modified to a great extent not only by the Eastern enlargement, but even by the approved agreements and treaties of the last two decades. Now the Union and the member states as well, need time to see how the bloc will work under these new circumstances. Europe simply needs some more patience to experience it’s new possibilities and barriers.Author : David Korosi