The European Union’s Lisbon Reform Treaty was decisively defeated by the Irish electorate in a referendum on June 13. The Euro-federalist project will be at least delayed, if not derailed, thanks to the vote. The victory of the “No!” campaign was due to a variety of factors, but whatever its causes it reflects the fatal flaw in the federalist project: its lack of popular support and democratic legitimacy.
Various European treaties have been defeated several times over the past decade but their proponents were always able to revive them, and try to impose them by hook or by crook. An earlier Irish referendum, rejecting the Nice Treaty in 2001, was repeated a year later amidst unprecedented foreign pressure; the “yes” vote narrowly prevailed.
More egregiously, following the rejection of the European Constitution by French and Dutch voters in 2005, the EU leaders promptly devised a new document to replace it: the Reform Treaty, or the Treaty of Lisbon. Had it passed the Treaty would have eroded even further the national sovereignty of EU countries and increased the power of unelected Brussels apparatchiks.
It is ironic that the European Union continues to present itself as the paragon of democratic values. Once hailed as a mechanism for overcoming deadly rivalries and increasing economic efficiencies, it has morphed into a giant tool of social and political engineering. Its now defunct Constitution pointedly excluded Christianity from the Preamble but introduced references to “equality” and “non-discrimination,” and invoked the obligation to combat “social exclusion” and respect “diversity.”
The Lisbon Treaty inherited this ideological baggage in toto. It would have had primacy over the law of member states, formally making the EU superior to all national constitutions and legislative bodies. Yet Brussels will not give up. The political and legal straightjacket that it seeks to impose on 450 million Europeans is gradually making opposition to the demographic change of their continent not only undesirable but also illegal—to the benefit of unassimilable, overwhelmingly Muslim multitudes, filled with contempt for their host-organism that breeds the urge to conquer it. The term “Eurabia,” introduced as an intellectual concept three decades ago by Lucien Bitterlein and his small cabal of Amerophobe Arabophiles at the Groupe d’Etudes sur le Moyen-Orient, is on the verge of becoming real.
Far from grasping the danger to American interests inherent in such developments and seeking to counter them, the Bush administration is acting as an accomplice in the project. On his farewell tour of Europe, only four days before the Irish referendum, Mr. Bush went out of his way to praise the European Union as a strong parter of the United States: “It’s in our interest that the EU be strong, vibrant, and it’s in our interests to work hard to have a partnership that solves problems.”
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso responded to Mr. Bush by praising the support of the United States to the European integration process, which—he asserted—was “well and running”:
This is indeed a great achievement, and this achievement was possible thanks to the commitment of founding fathers of the European Union to a united Europe, but also thanks to support of the United States of America . . . Thank you for all the support you have been giving to the integration and progress of democracy also in Europe.
The agreement between Mr. Bush, a “conservative,” and Sr. Barroso, once a Maoist and now a socialist, is unsurprising. They both favor a propositional concept of “Europe” and “America” and the concomittant rejection of common heritage that includes common ancestry.
This kind of partnership, which gives a new and unwelcome meaning to the term “beyond the Left and Right,” can be resisted only if we have a backlash against Jacobinism, both here and in Europe. Its foundation is the fact that, for the time being at least, nations still survive. On Friday, June 13, Ireland provided a welcome proof that it is possible, and necessary, for a small nation to resist the forces of Euro-Gleichschaltung.