“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”
—William Butler Yeats “The Second Coming”
Separatist movements have a long history in Europe, even being implicated as one of the major causes of the First World War. After the Second World War, though Europe was divided by an Iron Curtain, a chance towards unity, rather than division, was hoped for.
The economic and political unification of Europe began in earnest with the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951; continued with the foundation of the European Economic Union in 1957; culminated with the Maastricht Treaty and the foundation of the European Union in 1992; and consolidated with the Lisbon Treaty in 2007. Despite attempts to offer a rival block of Western nations in Europe, such as the European Free Trade Association, the EU managed to grow to its current dominance by not only bringing in most of the EFTA members (only Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland remain) but the former Easter Block nations as well.
Despite the economic disaster that the single currency has brought, most of the countries, both financially collapsing ones like Greece and those with better economic footing such as Germany, seem intent on keeping the Eurozone and the EU together. Not everyone in Europe agrees though, and separatist calls have increased lately. Though these have been mostly tranquil affairs since their entry to the EU could be vetoed by the country the separatist have left, they are perhaps getting to a point where that would not be a deterrent to independence, but the very feature they wish to achieve.
One of the most recent calls for independence has been in Venice. Italy has long had separatists tendencies, with a more industrial and prosperous North yearning for Pandanian independence, a poorer South, and a political master in Rome. Italy reflects the division in Europe between the profligate South/Mediterranean countries, and the more fiscally responsible North. But this division has not been limited to Italy.
The Scottish Independence Party holds an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament and is planning for a referendum on Scottish independence with a hope that they will be able to gain rights to most of the U.K.’s claim to North Sea oil. Catalonia’s regional government has also called for a referendum for Catalan independence from Spain as well, and now join the growing calls of the Basques.
But this is not limited mere separation from another country, but calls for national dissolution altogether. Belgium has seen a growing division between the French speaking Walloons and the Dutch speaking Flemish, with Brussels increasingly becoming a Francophone EU equivalent of America’s District of Columbia.
The situation in Belgium went so far as to contribute to Belgium not having an official government (i.e. administration) for a year and a half. Inadvertently, this has revealed the very lack of democracy which threatens Europe. During the year and a half when Belgium did not have an official government, the state functioned normally. This revealed a dangerous truth: The elected members of their parliament do not run the country; the bureaucrats are the ones that do. To the oligarchs of the EU, the real danger, as Belgian King Albert II put it, was that the division of Belgium could lead the way for the division of the European Union.
The problematic nature of Belgium’s government is clearly reflected in the EU, where the European Parliament is little more than window dressing for the unelected European Commission… and perhaps a venue with which Nigel Farage can put truth to power:
Indeed, the list of separatist movement within EU states are large, with some of the more prominent ones being: Wales and Scotland from the U.K., Scania from Sweden, and Brittany and Corsica from France.
The European Union was designed to eliminate division and strife in Europe by imposing a continent-wide super-state that Napoleon or Hitler would be jealous of. To do so, they must destroy the nation state and replace their democratic institutions with an oligarchy of bureaucrats. The only hope of these European unionists is to crush the nations and peoples before they themselves are torn asunder by the very forces the EU was meant to crush.
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