Eurocrats: Transparency vs. the Monet Method

Isn’t this obvious to everyone, including the Poles? One is afraid, however, that the refusal to recognize the reality of the European Union meted out to Poland its stinging slap on the face. Donald Tusk has been elected because his non-Polish sponsors wished so. There is not even pretense that an election to an important EU institution is based on any national parity.

By Marek Jan Chodakiewicz l April 5, 2017

Chief Eurocrats: Poland’s Donald Tusk (top) and President of EComm Jean-Claude Juncker (lower right) cut off EU budget debate

The European Union has a problem. It is called democracy. It is a phenomenon that, to a large extent, does not exist in the institutions of the EU. Neither the European Council (EC), nor the Council of Europe (CE), nor the Council of the European Union (CEU), nor the European Commission (EComm), nor their participants draw their strength from a direct, grassroots recognition. It is only the European Parliament (EP) that can claim a full democratic legitimacy in the EU. It is elected directly by, admittedly a waning number of, the voters in each member state. Fewer than 50% of eligible voters bother to vote in EP elections every five years.

A Token of Democracy

The EP does have certain rights but, in essence, it is a little bit more than a glorified debating forum. It does not even have the right to initiate legislation. The best that can be said about the EP is that it exerts some influence on the budget but it operates under the shadow of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. Theoretically, it can recall the Commissioners but that requires the consensus of the elites most directly impacted before any such vote can take place. In other words, if competing factions of the Eurocrats clash, and one orientation prevails over others, this may translate into an operation that can prompt a democratic vote of the EP to remove the offending members of the EU elite and replace them with their comrades.

Again, the rules, regulations, and laws impacting such relationship are less than transparent. Where’s democracy? Where’s “Europe of nations”? Is the EP a token? Is it a camouflage for a deeply undemocratic structure, a “deep state,” if you will, that, as is becoming increasingly apparent, harbors nefarious plans against self-government and national sovereignty?

Deep State

All those confusing institutions and kaleidoscopic individuals sometimes work as a team, and at other times at cross-purposes. As far as individual actors, it not only depends on their ideology, whether nationalist or globalist, but also on the degree of their enmeshment with the European Union. Like the Habsburgs, the Eurocrats endeavor to create a civil service and a political class primarily loyal to them. One’s national background is supposed to be of secondary importance, if at all. The siren song of Brussels, along with cushy appointments, swayed many, including plenty a conservative. For at least 25 years it appeared like Europhoria was the only game in town. Then came Brexit. That is either a harbinger of things to come or a maverick English reassertion of London’s independence. We shall see.

Meanwhile, true to form, to weather the crisis, the Eurocrats predictably speak of the “deepening of the European Union.” Although it periodically issues angry anti-British grunts, Brussels mostly pretends to ignore Brexit. The EU has even toned down its anti-sovereignty rhetoric. It has substituted it lately with an anti-populist chant, and foreboding warnings against “the far right.” What the true nature of the European Union is one truly cannot say for certain. Perhaps the fairest assessment would be that it is a project in progress. Initially, some, like John R. Gillingham, hoped that it would be “a new market economy,” rather than “a superstate.” But now, as Todd Huizinga fears, the EU may be “a new totalitarian temptation.” Also, Vladimir Bukovsky has long warned against what he calls “The Union of Soviet European Republics.” Lastly, Pierre Manent has stressed that there cannot be “democracy without nations.”

The EU project is elitist; Eurocrats are hostile to nationalism and sovereignty. Following the methodology of Jean Monet, they adhere to incrementalism, so as not to alarm the grassroots.

If this sounds eerie and complicated then, perhaps, the poor Polish government should be excused for sticking to the straightforward “Europe of nations” and refusing to recognize the nature of the beast. It is NATO and the United States who defend Poland and the rest of Europe. The EU lacks either an army or a will to fight. Perhaps it is for the best. The role of the EU is to help the U.S. to keep peace on the continent. That means Brussels must neutralize Berlin by emasculating it through politically correct liberal ideology; through enmeshing it in a million paralyzing supranational institution rules and regulations; through tapping its coffers for generous contributions to a common EU development fund; and through neutralizing its ambitions via democracy exercised at Brussels by all other European member states who are afraid of Berlin’s supremacy.

Germany Rules

That is how it was supposed to work. But Germany is Europe’s economic powerhouse. The United States resurrected it via the Marshall Plan and Keynesian injections of the military occupation system. As it did for the rest of the continent, America’s nuclear umbrella allowed its NATO allies, including the Germans, to focus their energies to boosting their economies and to divert their largesse to their social engineering projects, including their national welfare states and the welfare state par excellence, the European Union. Now, in addition, Germany shed its proud Deutschemark for the mighty euro. The European currency allows Berlin to dominate the other EU members, in particular both the economically feeble PIIGS (Portugal-Italy-Ireland-Greece-Spain) and the post-Soviet survivors, all restraint mechanisms mentioned above notwithstanding.

The golden rule stipulates that “he who’s got the gold makes the rules.” Since Berlin has the gold, it makes the rules. Thus, the system no longer constrains Germany, which has been feeling its oats, albeit, admittedly, still very gingerly. Are we going to gift the Germans with what we denied them in two bloody world wars: control of Europe? Between a continent dominated by Berlin and “Europe of nations,” there is only NATO. Its purpose has not changed since Lord Ismay described it succinctly: “To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down.” The EU can help in the mission but only if it is “Europe of nations,” and not Festungeuropa – Fortress Europe: an anti-American entity in bed with Moscow and Bejing (OBOR) for the greater glory of Berlin camouflaged as Brussels. Germany’s bid to dominate the continent has historically resulted in a world war. In most instances, it also triggered Russia’s expansion over the dead body of the Intermarium: the lands between the Black, Baltic, and Adriatic seas. That has been the case since the 18th century.

The European Council’s Undemocratic Tricks

Isn’t this obvious to everyone, including the Poles? One is afraid, however, that the refusal to recognize the reality of the European Union meted out to Poland its stinging slap on the face. Donald Tusk has been elected because his non-Polish sponsors wished so. There is not even pretense that an election to an important EU institution is based on any national parity.

Further, a vote by a club of once elected heads of state democracy constitutes not. At least it should not be construed as a body reflecting the will of the voters of each European Union member country, by the grace of which the crème de la crème have the privilege of luxuriating at the European Council.

After all, if each of the heads of state owes his or her post at the EC to the national voter, the voter should expect his elected officials to operate according to the national principle.

That means if a head of state votes for a candidate, that person should enjoy a democratic, national endorsement of his own people. And this should not be a former endorsement, but a current one, as legitimized by the latest democratic elections. If not, then no person should stand for office in the European Council for she or he would not be representing his or her nation, but either an unaccountable group or no one in particular.

Make the presidency of the body of the heads of state an appointable office with a bureaucrat who does not pretend that he represents his own nation. And try to be transparent about it. The people can see through the Monet method quite clearly now. Enough is enough.

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is a Professor of History at the Institute of World Politics, A Graduate School of National Security and International Affairs in Washington, DC, where he holds the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies. He teaches a directed study on the European Union at IWP. Dr. Chodakiewicz is author of Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas and teaches a seminar on the history of the Muslim world at Patrick Henry College. He is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the Online-Conservative-Journalism Center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.