Britain says EU no more in historic referendum

ClzeumnWIAAW4Zs

In a surprising and historic move, Britain has voted to leave the European Union. It is important to note that this has been the decision of ordinary Brits and not by those Eurocrats whose leadership is unpopular across Europe.  EU bureaucrats be warned: if Britain who’s not as affected by the so-called peripheral countries can do it, all the more by those countries that are at the mercy of severe austerity and left to guess what Brussels is up to next.

For the uninformed, how important was this decision? Remember that the European Union project has its roots in the post-World War II economic integration, with the goal of avoiding conflict in Europe. The EU project has fulfilled this purpose quite decently in the past 60 years. It has allowed the free movement of people within the Eurozone, created a common currency (not joined by Britain), established preferential trade among member states, and most importantly the preservation of peace in the continent.

But as the unelected predatory capitalists leaders in Brussels became increasingly more focused on unnecessary bureaucracy and squeezed the life out of ordinary Eurozone citizens as banks “too big to fail” have received privileges despite their enormous failures, the Brits in this Brexit referendum clearly confirmed they have had enough.

To be fair with the British people, they have been half-footed in the EU from the beginning. Perhaps the most obvious indication is their separate currency from the Euro, as well as its non-observance of the Schengen Agreement, which allows the free movement of EU nationals without the usual hassle of traveling to other countries.

The decision to leave the EU will be not be smooth for sure. The initial euphoria the referendum created will have to come to terms with the consequences of opposing the Remain vote. Already, for instance, the conservative party in Britain has hinted it will invoke Article 50 where Britain will be faced with years of ‘proper exits’ through possibly endless renegotiations.

Elsewhere in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Brexit referendum “a break in Europe’s history” and that it reflects “a fundamental doubt about the current direction of European integration.”

Some British mainstream media have already propagandized a few interesting points in the Brexit referendum. For instance, some news outlets have already downplayed the public’s decision as uninformed with headlines like “Brits frantically searched what the EU means hours after voting out of the EU” and that the “EU will treat Britain like Greece.” Such fear mongering should not be surprising as before the referendum London’s mouthpiece media have already done their part to dissuade the British public from bailing out of the EU.

And of course, Mr. David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, has already intensified the drama when he resigned the next day. In a visibly emotional speech, Cameron stated that “I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safe and better off inside the EU… (But) the British people made a different decision to take a different path. As such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.”  Indeed, the man who proclaimed “Assad must go” became the man who would go first.

Advertisements

Addressing the democratic deficiency of EU elections

Flags

Years of public spending cuts and unimpressive economic recovery has not only changed the minds of EU citizens regarding the legitimacy of the whole European Union experiment but also how its leaders try to engage the public in the European project as a whole.

Under the slogan “This time it’s different”, there is an attempt to persuade voters to go to the ballot box this coming May, which EU leaders hope to increase the EU’s legitimacy.

Such inadequacy was expressed recently by the European Commission’s vice president, Maros Sefcovic, stating that the ‘democratic deficiency’ of the Commission’s actions had been regularly raised in the past four years, in a statement to Reuters.

In a statement made in Brussels, Sefcovic expressed that “the recent strengthening of European integration means the Commission is playing more and more a political role and all of Europe needs to boost democratic legitimacy more than ever.”

But more than increasing the democratic deficiency of the EU project, there has been a progressive decrease in electoral participation by the public and overall attitude towards the EU. In a PEW research conducted last May, it showed that positive views of the European Union are at or near their low point in most EU nations, even among the young, the hope for the EU’s future.”

The research blamed the public distaste on prolonged economic crisis which “has created centrifugal forces that are pulling European public opinion apart.”

Also reasoned is the general disillusionment toward elected leaders, where Europeans “are losing faith in the capacity of their own national leaders to cope” with economic woes, including the inability of leaders to address the lack of employment opportunities in the continent.

As for the coming elections itself, some observers caution that “if any political party is looking forward to the EU election, it has to be the hard right, anti-EU National Front”, as exemplified in France these days. The general mood there is that “France has lost its sovereignty since the EU was created.” Polls show that the French public has lost their ‘faith’ in the ability of the EU to solve the country’s economic crisis.

In Britain, Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, said the mood in France is shared by Southern ‘peripheral’ economies, which are at the receiving end of the financial bailouts.

In Germany, feelings of burdensome tax payer bailouts to help ailing economies across Europe stem from factors including lack of transparency through to doubts in the merits of the EU-US free trade agreement (TIPP).

Indeed, it will be exciting to see how the decision to include the election of the Commission President in the ballots will turn out this May.