“Europhorics”, our most dangerous friends

As destructive as it may be, the “Europhorics” will push for it and get it, regardless of what the people think and want. A European superstate project, or “United States of Europe”, is coming.

There are the “Eurosceptics”, and there are “Eurohaters”. And then there are the “Europhorics”, who are to be found among both intellectuals and politicians and who are at least as dangerous as the former. To them the EU is not a union, but a worldview – and they are abusing it.

First and foremost, after all, old Europe is a creation of great delicacy, dignified with age and at the same time so fragile – and this right in the middle of the crisis. In the second Europe, the European Union, The continent has found a framework for its history and its future, and that framework is being continuously revamped. The crisis has transformed it too, and a little more than usual, not least following the Brussels crisis summit. And now it’s time to replace the provisional scaffolding with a solid frame. How exactly that new frame should look is – as is usual in Europe – much disputed. So far, so good.

The European Union, though, is another thing. For many it serves as a bogeyman – for those who fear globalisation, for those who have no desire to give money away to other countries and regions, and for those with a perennial inner rage who have chosen to hate the EU.

Finally, there is a third Europe: the Europe of the Europhorics. Those are the people who constantly want more of Europe, and as fast as they can. For them the EU is a way of looking at the world. The idea of a unified Europe they are abusing as an ideology.

The leaders of these Europhorics are high-profile intellectuals such as Ulrich Beck, Austrian writer Robert Menasse and Daniel Cohn-Bendit. In their attempt to escape from the demons of the past by the full integration of a Europe of nation states sapped of their meaning, they have ended up right back in the past – in ideology and in the pomposity of the Wilhelmine era.

In their manifesto for Europe they are busy painting the continent in the darkest colours and whispering that things will get far, far worse if total European integration is not begun on immediately. Hovering over us all is the threat that “the ascendancy of our two thousand years of culture” will be swept away in the flicker of an eye.

It’s not only Europe that is threatened with destruction. The world itself is in the gravest danger, facing as it is “large-scale trade conflicts and new world wars.”

Why do such thoughtful people get these notions? The Europhorics are at the moment trying out something rather paradoxical: they want to make, at the most depressive and difficult point of the EU, the greatest leap forward. Precisely because it is so difficult, they argue, we must proceed all the more quickly. This is, of course, extremely counter-intuitive, since every normal person would say that, if something is not working out too brilliantly, we ought to move forward with a little caution. Which is exactly where Cohn-Bendit and Verhofstadt are pumping up the apocalyptic mood music.

The argument that only a united Europe can assert itself in an altered world where the centres of power lie in the U.S., India, Brazil, Russia and China, of course, has something to it. Europe’s self-assertion is a coldly realistic political criterion, with a somewhat Wilhelmine aftertaste. Europe can certainly desire to secure its place in the sun, but it needn’t make such a fuss about it. Moreover, the countries that Europe will have to deal with in future are predominantly nation states.

Full article: “Europhorics”, our most dangerous friends (Presseurop)

One response to ““Europhorics”, our most dangerous friends

  1. After World War II, Europe began a process of peaceful political unification unprecedented there and unmatched anywhere else. But the project began to go wrong in the early 1990s, when western European leaders started moving too quickly toward a flawed monetary union. Now, as Europe faces a still-unresolved debt crisis, its drive toward unification has stalled — and unless fear or foresight gets it going again, the union could slide toward irrelevance.