4.1 The Centrists

4.1 The Centrists

Decadence, migration, failure of the elite. The ancient historian, Alexander Demandt, names these reasons as the reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire. So history seems to be repeating itself, because these are pretty much the same symptoms as those that the EU is suffering from today.

Nevertheless, the desire to draw more power to Brussels and form a European Superstate is still tempting for many politicians. There are many reasons for this: Of course, it is desirable to form a counterweight to the emerging Asian States, India or China, or to the great power USA and to play an important role globally. In the process, however, the qualities that are responsible for Europe's actual strength are being ground down: Competition, direct responsibility or regional innovation.

Photo: Guy Verhofstadt, Chairman of the "Liberal" ALDE Group is a fervent supporter of the "United States of Europe".

While diversity in many cultural and social areas cannot be great enough, today the ardent advocates of the EU Superstate in particular, whom we here casually refer to as Centrists, are claiming EU-wide egalitarianism, referred to above as convergence, as their goal.

The admission that the euro does not work and is directly and indirectly responsible for many imbalances is categorically ignored. Instead, attempts are being made to establish transfer systems and to promote European statehood. Political federations actually serve to achieve common political goals, but leave so much autonomy to their members that fundamental differences do not break out. This basic idea of the founding fathers of Europe has, however, been lost in recent years; while the idea of the EU Superstate has prevailed in Brussels.

The EU is proclaimed as a peace project in itself, with the European values, which are actually universal, as its basis. Of course, countries with close economic ties are unlikely to wage war on each other. But maybe we could hold up the democratic values in these countries as the effective guarantors of peace.

Perhaps that is why Germany, in particular, is receptive to this European Centralism. It gives us the opportunity to push to the back of our minds our own history, burdened by two world wars, and to be absorbed into a superstate in order to overcome this guilt.

Chart 35: Implementation of the country-specific recommendations in the European Semester

The utopia of allowing the nation States to merge into a European Superstate is therefore understandable in principle. The comparison with the United States of America, however, is weak because certain differences have developed that are not so easy to overcome. In addition to the many languages in Europe, which are of course an obstacle, there are historical and cultural differences that have grown up over thousands of years. The pursuit of convergence, which is emphasised and promoted in the EU like a religious mantra, no longer has any foothold in reality. The results of the convergence efforts within the framework of the "European Semester", the EU's annual plan to strengthen the Member States' economies, highlight the deficits: Only one percent of the EU's reform proposals were fully implemented in 2018.

The people in the EU with their personal destinies, who suffer from the effects of internal devaluations, which are a consequence of the intra-European adjustments or the euro, are being ignored in order to achieve a higher goal. The fact that this does not work or that it is triggering resistance among the affected societies becomes clear in the results of national elections.

Thus, from the point of view of the Centrists, the desire for convergence is a necessary step, but it does not stand up to reality. "Never miss the chance to exploit a crisis" is the motto commonly hailed to expand one's own power, but it is increasingly reaching its limits.


List of references for the used photos and chart: