GIS Statement by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
Once, the “European idea” helped unite a war-weary continent. Now, overbearing central authorities, suffocating bureaucracies and reams of red tape are limiting the freedom that idea once promised. Europeans are losing trust in their institutions, and worry for their own security. At the heart of the problem is weak leadership.
After the test phase that was the European Coal and Steel Community, the Treaty of Rome created the European Economic Community, which evolved into the European Community and finally, in 1993, the European Union. These developments helped bring peace and prosperity to Europe after it had been devastated in two world wars.
From 1989 on, the hope of joining a free and prosperous Europe helped drive development in the countries that had freed themselves from the communist yoke and opened the door for German reunification. A real European spirit prevailed and grew. Europe – not necessarily the EU – was increasingly considered, as French President Charles de Gaulle had envisioned, the “fatherland of fatherlands.” Patriotism replaced nationalism, but people still felt strongly bound to their own countries. It is a model that works well in a decentralized environment.
However, Parkinson’s law – that work expands to fill the time available for its completion – took hold in European bureaucracy, which overran institutions. Its growth did not stop at the national level, but infiltrated EU administration. More and more centralization and harmonization were imposed through a web of new rules and regulations. Local, national and regional specificities and needs are frequently ignored. This took place even as national bureaucracies grew increasingly excessive. Now, two nannies domineer over European citizens: their national governments and the European Commission.This situation might still be accepted if Brussels, with the support of some governments, did not harmonize and unify various measures, undermining the principles of self-determination, local control and subsidiarity to the point where individual citizens feel it acutely …
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How to destroy the European Union
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