NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

European Union Throws Its Weight Around

February 2, 2000

Observers are watching with dismay as Europe moves in the direction of a single state under the umbrella of the European Union. Despite promises by EU backers that it would never happen, the system in the making will be one that could overwhelm individual members' wishes while building a strong pan-European state. Critics foresee a powerful European entity.

  • It would have its own government, taxing power and army (and in fact, last year announced plans to form a rapid deployment force of 30,000 soldiers).
  • It would conduct its own foreign policy and run its own criminal justice system.
  • It would have it's own constitution and print its own money.
  • In other words, it would be a single European state.

And it's already flexing its muscles, telling Austria it would face sanctions if it let the small Freedom Party join the Austrian government. Party head Joerg Haider made offhand remarks about the efficacy of Nazi labor policies. Haider may be intemperate, but few seriously think he's a Nazi (indeed, one Freedom Party leader, Peter Sichrovsky, is Jewish). But observers point to the sanctimoniousness and hypocrisy of Austria's critics.

  • The very nations that want to punish Austria, such as Germany and France, have communists in their government, while the Italian prime minister is a member of what used to be the Italian communist party.
  • According to a recent book by leftist French scholar Stephane Courtois, communists in the 20th century killed between 85 million and 100 million people, while the Nazis' grim total was about 25 million.
  • So, critics ask, why not slap sanctions on France, Germany and Italy?

The U.S., meanwhile, is getting into the act. The Clinton administration says it, too, is thinking about sanctions against Austria if the Freedom Party gets in the government.

Source: Editorial, "Europe's Dirigistes," Investor's Business Daily, February 2, 2000.


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