Comments on: Despite pending referendum, UK is not European Union’s weakest link Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: TLE-NC Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:39:58 +0000 The article begins citing war as the primary motivation for the founding of the EU, but fails to mention the inability of the EU to prevent war. Until 1991, the US guaranteed the peace in Europe, not the EU. Since then, Kosovo, Georgia, the Crimea– these conflicts were “pretended away” by imagining that they aren’t really in Europe. Putin has discovered that neither the EU nor the US will counter him effectively (the US/NATO are now stationing 3 brigades in the East but their rules of engagement are weak). He continues his drive to restore the prior Soviet Union map coordinates in the East. And the contradictions of inviting Turkey to join the EU are too numerous to mention here.

Besides “peace,” a 2nd foundational reason was “prosperity.” There too the EU has stumbled. The notion that Germany and the Netherlands can set monetary policy for Greece and Italy is nonsensical. There are really 4 groupings, with unique fiscal, trade, industrial, and monetary requirements. It’s become impossible to paper over these contractions any longer. The differences seen in the Eastern members are provoking comment and hand-wringing elsewhere, but the same is true across all the groupings (witness the South group’s animosity toward the Germany/Austria group, or the trade frictions between the Northern group and the East.)

Resolving internal contradictions that are structural and foundational won’t be done by the “boldness” of political parties. The EU should retrench and identify a fallback position that is way short of “integration” but still yields the lion’s share of economic and social benefits.