«The Resurgence of European Patriotism», by Geert Wilders


„Here is a tip if you want to ruin the day of the bureaucrats and politicians in Brussels. Just mention next year’s European elections and they will become extremely nervous and agitated. They will fume with anger and warn you about rising populism, a threat to democracy.
Next May’s European elections, in which almost 400 million people in the 28 EU member states will be allowed to cast their votes, will in all likelihood produce a landslide against the Eurocrats. What will manifest itself, however, is not a rise of populism, but a victory for democracy.
For decades, Brussels has been able to do what it pleases. That period is over. People have finally come to realize that so-called europhiles aim to destroy Europe’s nations, the homes of national democracies. And people are not going to let it happen. They are no longer buying the lie that patriotism is dangerous, that it is a vice and not a virtue. They are reasserting their national pride and identity.

Robert Schuman, who was one of the EU’s founding fathers 60 years ago, used to say that the aim of European integration was „to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible”. But the idea that Germany, France, Britain and other nations in the past went to war because they were sovereign nations is simply ridiculous. They went to war because they had fallen for totalitarian ideologies. Democracies do not go to war against each other; they trade with one another.

Schuman and his contemporary followers, who are still trying to abolish the old European nation-states and replace them with a federal pan-European superstate, are politicians of the past. The EU represents the old political order. Today, a new generation of voters and politicians has emerged. I am one of them. My hero is not Robert Schuman, but the American visionary Ronald Reagan, who in his farewell address advocated a resurgence of national pride, which he called the „new patriotism”. As Reagan had it, this meant „a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions”.

The euro crisis of the past five years has worked as a catalyst. Europe’s citizens, from Finland to Portugal and from Ireland to Greece, have noticed that Brussels has been unable to solve the economic crisis. It imposed austerity solutions that resulted in higher taxes and only made matters worse.

The EU did not bring Europe peace; NATO did. The EU did not bring economic prosperity; free trade did. Switzerland is the most competitive economy in the world and Norway is the most prosperous country. Neither of them are in the EU. Both belong to the European Free Trade Association, or EFTA.

The EU did not bring Europeans more democracy and freedom, either. On the contrary: The EU is a prison of nations. It undermines our national democracies. It resembles an EUSSR.

In referendums in 2005, the Dutch and the French electorates rejected the European Constitution, which aimed to turn the EU into a genuine state. But Brussels refused to take no for an answer. It went ahead with its plans for a constitutional treaty, notwithstanding the people’s opposition. Brussels thinks it knows better than the people. Next May, it will realize that people who have been cheated do not forget.

This has nothing to do with populism; it is all about democracy. Democracy on a supranational level is simply impossible. In order to have democracy, there needs to be a nation. The European Union cannot be compared to the United States. America is a nation, but Europe is not. Europe is a continent of many different nations with their own identities, traditions and languages. Robbing them of their national democracies does not create a European democracy – it destroys democracy in Europe.

For months my party, the Party for Freedom, has been leading in the Dutch polls. We are a young party. We want the Netherlands to leave the EU, join EFTA and, like Switzerland, negotiate bilateral trade agreements with the EU and the rest of the world. We are going to win next May’s European elections.

In other countries, too, the EU has never been as unpopular as it is today. Trust in the EU has fallen to its lowest level ever. Six out of 10 Europeans tend not to trust the EU, according to the EU’s own polling. They are going to vote accordingly. The old order of the complacent elite in Brussels is crumbling.

In Britain, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), wants to lead Britain out of the EU. It is polling at almost 20%. In France, the National Front, under its new leader Marine Le Pen, wants to return sovereignty to Paris from Brussels and has, in turn, become the most popular party in the polls.

Europe is on the verge of a glorious revolution—non-violent and democratic. Next May, all over Europe voters will rebel at the ballot box. They will reject the supranational experiment of the European Union. They will cast their votes for a restoration of national sovereignty.

They are not extremists, they are democrats”.

Mr. Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament, is the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV).

Source: News Reloud / Article written by Geert Wilders in «The wall street journal»

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