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The European Union. The supposed caretaker of democracy, liberty and peace on the European continent. Its collapse would lead to wide-spread anarchy, martial law, wars on the European continent and could ultimately even result in World War Three. Oh, wait a moment…that’s only what would happen if the euro currency collapses (1+2+3+4).  Never mind the consequences of the European Union itself falling apart! To put it lightly, I’m having a bit of a hard time to take this sort of fearmongering seriously (5).

Welcome to Europe in the twenty-first century, I suppose. Where a majority of politicians resort to using scare tactics to stress the importance of the euro and are either too blind, corrupt, or stupid to look at the European Union with a semblance of neutrality. Everything will work out, as long as the euro continues to exist. It’s just business as usual.

The whole euro crisis could have been avoided if politicians were actually competent. And no, I’m not even talking about rejecting the euro in the first place. Rather, the EU could have opted to genuinely take measures against nations that violated the no more than 3% government budget deficit rule. Or in other words; making it a real rule instead of what turned out to be nothing more than a guideline. Sure, the rules might now finally get enforced this time…but it is a bit late for that.

Not that competence exists when it comes to the European Union. Allow me to introduce Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (6+7). Nearly everyone that has enjoyed a decent education understands the principle of supply and demand, right? Of course, not everybody agrees on how important this principle exactly is. But I think it is safe to say, that most educated individuals realise that completely ignoring the principle of supply and demand is a bad idea. Unless you are part of the European Commission or one of the six member states of the EU in 1962 apparently.  In their infinite wisdom, they deemed supply and demand to be irrelevant. Instead, farmers would get guaranteed prices regardless of how much they produced; without any sort of ceiling.

Guess how that turned out. Obviously, only farmers benefited from it. Coupled with trade barriers, food prices were kept artificially high on the European market as there was no need to compete. It caused a huge surplus of agricultural products, some of which was (and still is) exported to developing countries at costs lower than those of the local farmers; directly hurting their agriculture sector. It benefited countries that had a large agriculture sector, while member states that were more urbanised (such as Germany, but especially the Netherlands and the UK) paid the price.

There’s also how it makes animal cruelty profitable, as it encourages factory farming. Even if you consider factory farming to be necessary to produce enough meat for the world population…giving subsidies for exporting live animals really serves no purpose at all. What kind of idiot do you have to be, to think it’s a good idea to make exporting live animals more profitable than frozen meat, thanks to subsidies? ”Idiot” being the nicer accusation here. I could also say something along the lines of ”demented, sadistic freak”. Take your pick.

In a similar vein, there’s also the EU’s atrocious Common Fisheries Policy (8+9). Costly, damaging for both the environment and the livelihood of African fishers and downright bureaucratically bizarre. How do you like, that because of the CFP, fishers have apparently to throw away 23% of all fish they capture in Europe? I’m not making this up (10). The European taxpayer pays for such rubbish policies, and for mega trawlers fishing in West Africa; much to detriment of the local environment and fishermen (11).

Both the CFP and the CAP also lead to extra, more indirect costs. European citizens indirectly pay for development aid whether they want to or not, because it is part of their government’s budget . If the EU would not actually make it harder for farmers and fishers to simply survive, they could be more self-sufficient and less dependent on development aid. In fact, the consumer might, ”surprisingly” enough, profit from it as well.

While the CAP has been improved a fair amount since its creation (…after it stayed unchanged for 20 years) and the CFP is slowly getting better as well; both remain a testimony to the absolutely mind blowingly foolish decisions made both by EU’s government bodies and national governments alike.

The European Parliament and the European Commission also have some immense delusions of grandeur. They like to think they are incredibly important. Can you believe that, in times of austerity, the EU wanted a 5% budget increase (12)? Or what about the expense scandal about Members of the European Parliament, that they refuse to release (13)? Nepotism, corruption, abuse of power; the EU has it all.

All that said, the euro was just a bad idea to begin with. How is a currency, that is shared by member states that do not have uniform economies, allegedly going to be stable? You already can’t really compare the economies of France and the Netherlands; let alone when it comes to comparing Germany and Greece. Just imagine if the North American Free Trade Agreement came with a common currency. Even in the hypothetical situation that Mexico would not be plagued by drug cartels, how is such a currency supposed to work out (14)?

In addition, thanks to the euro crisis, the European Union is starting to have traits of a dictatorship. While the European Union has been busy with systemically reducing the sovereignty of all member states as the years pass, the European Stability Mechanism is a particularly vicious, if not crippling blow to national sovereignty. Let’s look at some of the things the ESM says, shall we? I quote directly (15):

Capital Calls

”ESM Members hereby irrevocably and unconditionally undertake to pay on demand any capital call made on them by the Managing Director pursuant to this paragraph, such demand to be paid within seven days of receipt.”

Changes in authorised capital Stock

”The Board of Governors shall review regularly and at least every five years the maximum lending volume and the adequacy of the authorised capital stock of the ESM. It may decide to change the authorised capital stock and amend Article 8 and Annex II accordingly.”

Legal status, privileges and immunities

”The ESM, its property, funding and assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process except to the extent that the ESM expressly waives its immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract, including the documentation of the funding instruments.

The property, funding and assets of the ESM shall, wherever located and by whomsoever held, be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure, taking or foreclosure by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action.

The archives of the ESM and all documents belonging to the ESM or held by it, shall be inviolable.”

The sheer absurdity is a lot to digest. A member state is supposed to pay on demand any capital call within seven days of receipt. The authorised capital  stock can be amended at will. The ESM has absolute legal immunity. For more information about the ESM, I will refer to a few other sources (16+17).

This is an outrage. The ESM simply gets to ”supersede” democracy once it has been implanted, on a scale that dwarfs already existing undemocratic aspects of the euro and EU. That the treaty has made it this far, shows the practically unlimited idolatry for the euro that is not grounded in reality whatsoever. Every parliament member that votes in favour of this ”treaty” is literally committing treason. After all, they are facilitating the possibility of their country ending up broken and making it essentially powerless to ”legally” resist the aggressor. Why shouldn’t this fall under treason?  Neither ignorance or good intentions are accepted as excuses for breaking the law, so this should apply for politicians as well.

Speaking of treason, it reminds me of how certain Greece officials lied and deceived, so that their country could enter the Euro zone; regarding the reality of the Greek economy merely as ”inconvenient”. Besides that this is another fine example of the ”euro-cult” at work, I wonder….why aren’t they prosecuted? That members of the Greece parliament are immune from criminal prosecution might play a part, but I doubt that all involved are still in the parliament. At any rate, it seems fairly sensible to criminally charge them with treason and false pretenses (and/or misrepresentation in addition to / instead of false pretenses). From my point of view, it also is not unthinkable for a number of Greece citizens to sue the responsible officials. Then again, we are talking about officials that furthered the cause of the euro…

The EU should have remained a free trade zone and nothing more. Ideally as a real free trade zone that, for example, doesn’t include the previously mentioned backward farming and fishery policies. Politicians keep hammering on how ”important” the EU is, about how it has increased our welfare and such. I have my doubts about those kind of claims. Besides that we Dutch have been paying through the nose for European farming subsidies for a long time (and still are), most of the wealth as a result of the EU seems likely to be simply an effect of free trade. Why would the euro have had a substantial effect cumulative with that of free trade?

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean I’m completely in favour of abolishing the euro and reverting back to our old currency. Even though the euro was a mistake, it is questionable if withdrawing from it will turn out to be worthwhile. That said, such a decision is already quite a bit less questionable than it was two years ago. But what if we can only keep the euro if we adopt the ESM? Then I say to hell with the euro, no matter the cost.

The European Union has done enough damage. We don’t need more ”political integration”, we need less. Regardless if you are a liberal, a socialist, or a nationalist; it ought to be clear that the EU undermines democracy, forces hard austerity measures (that are primarily necessary because of the euro) and ultimately wants to make member states subservient by stripping away their national sovereignty.

The euro is not a recipe for peace. Both World Wars are often blamed on (extreme) nationalism…and thanks to the euro (and the EU itself to a lesser extent), nationalism is on the rise again. And it will only continue to grow, as the more nationalist parties (along with strong socialist parties) are often the only parties that are consistently against giving up more power to the EU.

The EU, caretaker of democracy, liberty and peace? Don’t make me laugh.

(1) http://www.cnbc.com/id/44535393/Euro_Collapse_Could_Lead_to_War_Polish_FinMin
(2) http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/europe-could-be-plunged-into-war-if-efforts-88003
(3) http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-08/euro-demise-would-mean-end-of-europe-end-of-peace-sarkozy-says.html
(4)  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8124189/Herman-Van-Rompuy-Euroscepticism-leads-to-war.html
(5) http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/without-the-euro-would-europe-have-turned-to-war/2011/09/21/gIQAxGpZrK_story_1.html
(6) http://www.civitas.org.uk/eufacts/FSPOL/AG3.htm
(7) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Agricultural_Policy
(8) http://www.civitas.org.uk/eufacts/FSPOL/AG5.htm
(9) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Fisheries_Policy
(10) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8635623/European-Commission-apologises-for-disastrous-fishing-policy.html

(11) https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/world/africa/14fishing.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
(12) http://voices.yahoo.com/european-meps-expenses-scandal-abuse-8681843.html?cat=3
(13) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15806230
(14) http://www.businessinsider.com/ubs-on-the-euro-breakup-2011-9
(15) http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/582311/05-tesm2.en12.pdf
(16) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZr17HLH5U
(17) http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/europe-mainmenu-35/9679-eu-creates-dictatorship-under-guise-of-financial-stability

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