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5/15/16

Euroskepticism’s empty promises - not able to spell out their alternatives to European integration

With so much effort aimed at dismantling the European project, it is time to ask the Euroskeptics to spell out their alternatives to European integration. Of course, many conservative and libertarian Euroskeptics, such as Daniel Hannan, stress that their goal is not to destroy political cooperation on the continent, or even to return to protectionism.

What they want is to return to a Europe made up of sovereign, democratic and self-governing nation states that are cosmopolitan and open to trade, investment, and, to a large degree, to immigration.

Boris Johnson, for example, famously identified himself as being “about the only politician … who is actually willing to stand up and say that he’s pro-immigration.” The EU, argue the skeptics, is neither a necessary nor sufficient guarantee of such openness. The EU, they say, is a distortion that opens market and migrant flows within Europe, while jealously guarding itself against competition from overseas.

Born out of the ashes of World War II, the aim of the European integration project was to make war between Europe’s leading nations impossible. It would do this by tying them together economically and politically, in what should have become a European federal state.

The EU’s critics like to emphasize that the premise is outdated, and that the animated policy debates in the 1940s and 1950s are now obsolete. As L.P. Hartley’s proverbial quote goes, the past is a foreign country — they do things differently there.

In reality, any alternative to being strong and united as one in Europe, is doomed to eventualy  backfire, 

Unfortunately many shortsighted Euroskeptics seem to believe that "charity starts at home".

Read more: Euroskepticism’s empty promise – POLITICO

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