Belgium shows you don’t need a government

Belgium remains hopelessly split. It is in a way the very embodiment of the European dream. Regionalism in Belgium has been fostered so successfully that the Flemish speaking part of the country now wants nothing to do with the Walloon or French speaking part of the country. The country has quite enough adopted EU law to keep it going. The Eurocrats only worry is there is no longer an official government in place to keep on forcing the new Directives onto the Belgian people. It’s a lovely irony, that European regionalism has destroyed the last vestiges of Belgian national authority (never strong),which in turn weakens the political method for forcing new EU law onto people in Belgium!

It also shows the power of regionalism, especially when it is backed up by linguistic, cultural and economic differences. The EU project generally is likely to splinter other nations. Indeed the scheme is based on divide and rule – setting Catalan against Castillian, Scot and English, Southern Italian against Northern Italian, Walloon against Fleming, Basque against Spaniard. The EU felt that if it weakened state power it could occupy the vacuum it helped create by taking new state power at the EU level.

What is might discover, in the longer term, is that it cannot contain the petty nationalisms it has helped release. The EU is playing a dangerous game with people’s snese of their own identity. The collapse of Belgium may not in the long run be as good as some EU fans think from the EU point of view. Member states have been very important so far in preventing dissent with the EU from getting out of hand, because they still have some legitimacy. The EU has no similar legitimacy to put in place, once the member states lose it as they have in Belgium.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted December 9, 2007 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    You mention setting Scot against English? Do you believe the EU project would welcome an English parliament? Or would it see it as an obstacle to it's goal of a Britain, as Brown would say 'of nations and regions'?

    Thanks.

  2. Tally
    Posted December 9, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I'm sure they will also try to pit these English regions against each other too. A good reason for Conservative councils to withdraw from regional assemblies immediately.

  3. T. Yke
    Posted December 9, 2007 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    And another reason why dumping Scotland is good for England. Not to mention sending home the signatories of the Scottish Claim of Right, tae think again!
    Seriously though, it just goes to show that in the end, the people will decide which direction their nation will take. Not the politicians, who may think they have all the power and money in their court. What goes around, comes around.

  4. Posted December 9, 2007 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Europe of the Regions supporters are fanatical in their opposition to an English parliament because they know it is anathema to their vision of the future.

  5. Anoneumouse
    Posted December 9, 2007 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Brown may not be the only leader absent from the signing the EU Reform Treaty.

    Belgium hasn't had a leader since June and the Belgian federal authority only has power in the matters that are formally attributed to it by the Constitution and the laws carried in pursuance of the Constitution itself.

    The King concludes treaties, treaties may take effect only following approval of the Chambers.

    Ergo, the current emergency cabinet cannot appoint a representative with 'full powers' to Sign the EU Lisbon Treaty.

    See Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties Article 7 & 8
    .

  6. apl
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    JR:

  7. Paul Danon
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    If proper referenda were held on the UK's future, a question could include whether voters wanted their part of the country to stay in the EU. I expect that the Scots and Welsh would want to do so, adopt the euro and become republics. England would probably want to leave the EU, keep the pound and the monarchy and, maybe even, allow hunting again.

  8. Posted December 11, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    You don't mention by far the most destructive instance of divide & rule – setting Serb, Moslem, Croat & Albanian against each other by recognising the right of Moslem & Croat regimes, led by (ex-)Nazis, & now the possibly even more distasteful Albanian drug lords & sex slavers, publicly committed to genocide, to rule largely Serb inhabited lands.

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