15 JANUARY 2017 – Heritage Foundation Event

Heritage Foundation Panelists: Marian Tupy (Senior Policy Analysit, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity) Iain Murray (Vice President for Strategy, Competitive Enterprise Institute), Nile Gardiner (Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom)

Marian Tupy: The problems are that the decision makers at Brussels are not elected, they are unknown and unaccountable. The EU is suffering a demographic deficit and that is the root of the rise of populism. Public officials have to implement decisions made at Brussels, there is a limit at the national level to influence decisions and the ability to affect change. The nation state remains the building bloc of international relations within the EU. Pan European demos no longer exist. Being European is more seen as a geographical distinction rather than a political one. Proponents of closer union agree that the population does not want a United States of Europe.

The European individuals’ participation in the institutions has continually declined over the years. In the first EU elections public participation was 65%, whereas in 2014 It was only 42%. Because of this there was a rise of populous parties across the European spectrum. These parties have nothing in common with one another apart from the idea of dismantling the EU. The view that the EU has failed in competencies especially monetary and immigration have spread across the board. Per say Germany does not understand why they have to pay the Greeks and Hungary does not want to take Syrian Refugees.

Many Europeans feel general distance and decline, although most problems rest with national governments. There is a failure of the EU establishment and of the mainstream political parties. There are problems with mass immigration, low unemployment, debt and low growth. The citizens are lashing out against the establishment. Parties against the EU have grown in power. The EU does not want to repatriate its decision making as it is aiming for a centralized government.

Iain Murray
Believes that much of populism is national conservatism resurgent due to separate continents where socialism and liberalism rise. There is a European conservatism crisis. The European conservatism is different to that of Anglo-American, which have profound implications: Anglo American: stands around liberties, political freedom and civil liberties. European: Europe was ruled by dictators and communism – different mentalities.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe was dominated by two ideologies: socialism and neoliberalism. The new Europe was built by liberalism which is not aligned with the mains customs and ideas of the citizens. There is a belief that currencies were destroyed and the idea of “one size fits none”. Today, in Europe, liberal and free democracies in coalition governments have less and less representatives in the national parliament, as seen through the 5-star movement in Italy. The old judiciaries are dead and there is no question about bringing back monarchies. There is no surprise that the conservative movement in Europe is nationalist. Europe is suffering of mass unemployment, cricking tax base, a large number of immigrants, and an entitlement issue.

What does it mean for the US? -> A need to show the way back to small government success, and to negotiate quickly a free trade agreement with the UK. There is a need to change free economies for new alternatives. Believes that the result could put Europe back to work.

Nile Gardiner: Believes that the Brexit was a wakeup call for Europe and that Britain has jumped on “a life boat of the Titanic which is about to sink”. Further he believes that other nations will follow the example. There will be a political earthquake in Europe. The impact of Brexit will be felt, and there is no way to pretend that it did not happen, nor that it will not have ripple effects. Campaigns have been a rejection of the ruling political establishments and elites.

Future of the Euro: The euro has proved to be resilient, even though the central bank gave them negative interest rates the euro managed to prevail. It could take years before the collapse of the euro is seen.

1. The US should not be backing the EU, instead it should be working with the nations of Europe to support their sovereignty.
2. The US should back the economic freedom in Europe.
3. The TPP should be continued.
4. The US should oppose the EU developing their own security system, especially an army.
5. There needs to be less focus placed on dealing with Brussels.
6. US and EU should stand up to Russian aggression.
7. American leadership is important.

Revised by: Patricia Besciu, non-resident fellow of CPD
All ideas are those of panelists, none of my personal opinions have been included.