EUROPEAN NEWS



Somewhere in London

2013-01-24

At the time France and Germany were celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Treaty of Paris (see next item), British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke somewhere in London on the U.K. and the European Union. The coincidence was striking. On 22 January 1963 French President Charles de Gaulle and West-German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, solemnly signed their treaty, barely a week after de Gaulle said NO to British entry into the European Communities. David Cameron`s views on Europe are not very different from those of his predecessor Macmillan, when asked about his views on the Schuman Plan in 1950: "Our people are not going to hand to any supranational authority the right to close down our pits or steelworks." The principal difference between them is, that the latter decided not to join the ECSC, whereas the former speaks on behalf of EU member state Britain after forty years of troublesome membership. How much trouble various British governments made in those forty years can be read in Part II, chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5 of my latest book on European Unification. Prime Minister Cameron, apparently, has a very short memory and no ability to learn from history. Does he know what happened to the 1974 British demand for renegotiation? Or how his predecessor Margareth Thatcher blocked decision-making for years, just because she wanted her money back? Or John Major who in 1991 arranged for all kinds of opt-outs for Britain and thereby definitely destroyed agreement on a European vision for the future of European unification? As in 1950, Cameron today still does not understand what the EU is about. He wants no more than the Internal Market and erroneously thinks that securing prosperity now is the overriding purpose. His fellow British citizen, Norman Davies knows better, where he wrote that the EU, "if it continues to give priority to economic and monetary matters, is heading nowhere." Cameron`s request for another round of renegotiations is not going to lead anywhere, not even under threat of the announced referendum. The idea of an in/out referendum is absurd; not without reason postponed to some time in 2017. One can only hope for another government and/or more wisdom among the majority of British voters.


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Frans A.M. Alting von Geusau

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Description

Since 1989, we refer to the whole post-war period as the "Cold War Era". Such was not the case in 1968.

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Description

The peaceful collapse of the Soviet totalitarian, communist system has been a watershed of historic proportions in Europe and the world.