Will the EU collapse?

 
> You have listed problems with the European Union on your blog.  I am 
> curious what you think will happen to the EU.  Do you think the EU will 
> eventually collapse?  Would these 10 problems with the EU lead to its 
> downfall?  

[This post originally written as private correspondence]

I wrote that list five years ago as a challenge to supporters of the EU to engage with the arguments at all. There were very few takers.

The reason is that basically no-one actually thinks the EU, as currently constituted, is in any way a good idea. Whether one says this publicly is a matter of how one wishes to be perceived. In the UK, support for the EU is basically a way of signalling that one is against nationalism, facism, racism, traditionalism, various forms of conservatism, etc. Opposition to the EU has often been *perceived to have been* dominated by undesirable types, and certainly the UK’s only substantial racist party is highly Eurosceptic (except inasmuch as it sees the EU as an instrument for encouraging immigration by white people).

The common perception of Euroscepticism is wrong, like so many common perceptions.

So: there was no-one to have my argument with. The most committed Europhiles basically privately admit the entire thing is a catastrophe and work diligently for its reform.

My 11 points in that article fall into three categories: the absence of most features of Europe-level democracy (in the last five years I have formalised this into testable questions), the misdesign and misbehaviour of actors (legislators, officials, judges) in the European lawmaking processes, and the undesirable effects this all has on policy outcomes.

So as Abraham Lincoln didn’t ask, can a government neither of the people, nor by the people, nor for the people, long endure?

I see no reason to believe that it could. Either democracy will come to the EU, and so radically transform it as it no longer retain any meaningful identity with the constitutional structures we see today, or countries will vote to withdraw.

The effect of the undemocratic operation of the EU is to transfer resources and power to people who would not otherwise receive them. It is irrational for any group of people to tolerate this indefinitely. Ireland didn’t tolerate being governed from London in 1920, and I suppose the current rule from further east will be equally unwelcome. Most countries formerly controlled by the UK obtained their independence peacefully, and if independence is good enough for Canada, for Nigeria, for India and the rest, why is independence not good enough for the UK?

I expect it will be the Germans whose patience snaps first though.

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