There should be no doubt about the current status of the European Union. It’s crumbling before our very eyes. Between the sprawling unaccountable bureaucracy in Brussels, the unpayable debts, the unfettered immigration, and the unprecedented emergence of conservative, nationalistic groups, it’s obvious that the EU is not long for this world. No nation can survive those pressures; much less a loosely held, 24 year old political union consisting of a wide variety of languages and cultures.
And this fact is beginning to show. Not just because nations like the UK have already voted to leave the EU, and talk of independence referendums is spreading like wildfire across the continent. This fact is beginning to show on the faces and lips of the EU’s leaders.
Currently EU parliament members are debating about what direction the union should go in following Brexit, in an effort to to keep the union together. Some have proposed bringing the EU back to the days when it was a modest trading block with no political authority. Others think that the only way forward is to strengthen the EU, and turn it into a federal union much like the United States. And during that debate Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, appeared to have a little breakdown. When Juncker was criticized for wanting to consult ordinary Europeans on what they should do, this is what happened.
After listening to their rambling speeches a thunderous looking Mr Juncker replied: “What I will say to those who think that the Commission has chosen poorly, is that in Europe you can’t have enough innovation.
“There are many traditionalists, many conservatives, who cannot accept changing a method and my method has been criticised.
“The approach of making a number of proposals which have had thought put into them, but which have never been discussed with the broader public, that has been the approach that has been criticised.”
He added: “So we are putting forward on this occasion a number of different scenarios. Not all of them have met with approval, I’m sure that you will understand that amongst the scenarios put forward there is one that I would like more than the other four.
“But if we were simply to put that forward then there wouldn’t be any discussion and voices would be raised against us saying that we had stifled the debate and saying that we had not listened to the voices of our citizens.”
Finally losing his temper at the Catch-22 situation, he then raged: “But sh*t, I would say sh*t if we weren’t in the EU parliament. What do you want us to do?”
These are not the words of a leader who is confident in the future. This exasperation reeks of defeat. And in any case, what he said basically sums up the biggest problem with the EU. It’s run by unelected bureaucrats who don’t have to consult ordinary people on what to do, and those political systems rarely survive for very long.