European federalists opt for political masturbation once again

13 February 2017
European federalists opt for political masturbation once again

MEP Sander Loones fears that the debate in the European Parliament and in the media this week will be dominated if not monopolised by calls for even more Europe. “That would very much fit in with the political state of affairs right now following the election of American President Trump. The European federalists want to use the lack of certainty to put their political agenda in the spotlight, but they keep missing the goal time after time,” says Sander Loones. “They waste our time debating about European castles in the air and are then surprised that people are becoming more and more annoyed with this European Union. Who on earth is counting down the days impatiently waiting for new European taxes? When can we finally actually use our time productively? Security, tackling migration and creating jobs: that’s what we should be talking about. Everything else is beside the point.”

As well as European taxes, Eurofederalists like Guy Verhofstadt (Open Vld) have a few other unfulfilled pipe dreams. “For example, they want to give the European Commission even more power and weaken the Member States. A European supergovernment as the ultimate fantasy,” Sander Loones explains. “It’s also telling in that regard that in their eyes the European Parliament can stay as big as it currently is when the British leave the EU. However, opting for a strong European cooperation where it is useful and necessary does not mean that we have to opt for a European superstate. That is not the right answer to our challenges. I had hoped that after Brexit every politician would have learned that lesson. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.”

Solidarity without responsibility

In addition, according to those same Eurofederalists, we should no longer have a right of veto against the insanities being proposed by Southern Europeans. In their reports they are shamelessly advocating more Transfers The money flows from Flanders to Brussels and Wallonia are called transfers. The transfers from the federal budget, the Financing Law and social security amount to between 6 and 7 billion euros per year, and 11 billion euros if debt repayments are included. The size of the transfers is always contested by the French-speaking side or they are just referred to as normal solidarity contributions. A study by Vives (KU Leuven) revealed that the transfers did not serve solidarity, but had a paralysing effect on the growth of both the Walloon and Flemish economies. transfers from Northern to Southern Europe. “But even that’s not enough: they say we should also relinquish jurisdiction over our taxes and economy to Europe,” Sander Loones notes. “But different economic realities in the various member states don’t require a one-size-fits-all approach, on the complete contrary, they are crying out for tailor-made solutions. A European policy that is designed to suit everybody is a policy that will end up suiting nobody. With an approach like that we will not make progress together, mediocrity will simply reign everywhere.”

No support

What is striking is that everyone recognises that many of those measures can only be introduced when European treaties are modified, which today is not on the agenda in any way, shape or form. “It’s political masturbation, nothing more and nothing less,” Sander Loones concludes. “The things being discussed in those parliamentary reports will never see the light of day. Everyone knows that, because there is no support among the Member States and there is no support among the population. So why waste our time, when we can be doing much more valuable business like strengthening the migration policy, creating more security and pruning back European bureaucracy?”

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