Germany has offered a new coalition called the #European federation. Germany believes that such a mechanism can be generalised to the level of international politics, in the process of which a supranational body of the federal government, as well as a number of political units, is created on the basis of a common constitution and by delegating much of the powers of states. On the other hand, whispers of the EU’s return to #nationalism are heard more than ever these days. The symbols of a united Europe are challenged one by one by nations and even some European governments and parties. The simultaneous occurrence of security, economic, social and political crises in a united Europe has left no window for the effective survival of the European Union and the continuation of the rule of European institutions over the people.
Nationalism in the past
Nationalism is redefining itself in Europe. Redefining nationalism is a process; a process that has been going on for a long time. Nationalism in Europe, before the arrival of the third millennium, was in direct opposition to institutionalism and the European collective movement. In other words, European citizens condemned nationalism and its prevalence in Europe.
Preserving the borders of a united Europe and its political and geographical borders had become a common concern among the citizens of the various countries of the complex. The traditional parties of the centre-right and centre-left in Europe also agreed to preserve the unity of a united Europe, and the transition from this practice was considered a kind of red line for politicians and citizens. Under such circumstances, nationalists and far-right parties, one of the hallmarks of which was opposed to the structure of the Eurozone and a united Europe, had no place in the eyes of European voters.
EU’s power scope
The European Union is a regional organisation with a global presence and role. The Union is now a powerful trading bloc with extensive economic ties to major economic powers such as the United States, Japan, China and India. The EU is now the world’s largest trading partner, accounting for more than 20% of global imports and exports. The EU has also sought to become an influential political player in international politics as its economic influence and power gradually grows stronger.
Although the EU is far from becoming a geopolitical power, it is increasingly playing an active role in many international crises, such as the Middle East peace, Iran’s nuclear activities, North Korea, the Russia-Georgia conflict, etc., well reflects the Union’s international influence. Some European politicians hope to see the European Union as a federal government similar to the United States. Another group fears that the Union may step in this direction.
There are currently three levels of authority in the EU. The first level belongs to the exclusive competence of the European Union, in which member states, including Germany, must be subject to the decisions and policies adopted in Brussels. The second level is the level of joint competencies between the EU and the member states. In these areas, policies are adopted at both national and European levels. European level policies are usually aimed at complementing existing or developing policies at the national level. Examples of this can be found in labour market regulations, regional spending, and immigration and asylum. The third level of competence can be considered as harmonised competencies, which are: policies whose actions remain essentially at the national level of the member states, but because of the undeniable effects that such policies can have on other member states of the Union.
The EU member states have agreed to coordinate their domestic policies at the European level so that it is clear that EU member states will share some of their sovereign policy and decision-making powers. It is transnational and institutionalised and must abide by the decisions taken by the institutions of the Union. This is especially necessary in the case of those competencies which are exclusive to the European Union.
Germany has offered a new coalition called the #European federation. One of the features of this plan is the unity between the states based on a kind of constitution in which the participating states are obliged and committed to implementing its provisions and to be analysed within the framework of a supranational unit. In fact, countries consciously and voluntarily, in accordance with the constitution, delegate part of their political, military and economic authority to the centre or central institution, and the multiple government units themselves act as one of the states of the federal government.
Germany believes that such a mechanism can be generalised to the level of international politics, in the process of which a supranational body of the federal government, as well as a number of political units, is created on the basis of a common constitution and by delegating much of the powers of states. To a national institution, the intensity of national unity, nationalism, sensitivity and separate sovereignty is reduced and replaced by the European Federation. For Germany, the federalisation of the European Union, without the need to resolve social, cultural and economic differences, could provoke the elites’ desire to relinquish political sovereignty.
Germany’s proposal, despite its historical background and even its emphasis on value measures and political issues, has fundamental weaknesses. These weaknesses arise from the fact that this theory has underestimated the role of contemporary social, economic, and cultural factors in the process of convergence and has based its hypotheses solely on historical experiences. Federalism is incapable of a convincing explanation of convergence efforts, and in practice, new experiments with federalism (such as that of the European Union) have failed miserably in recent decades.
Despite the Union moving towards integration, the process has always faced two serious bottlenecks. First, the convergence has been heterogeneous in nature. This means that the cooperation of member states in the fields of social, judicial and foreign policy is in principle much less than their convergence in the field of economics and trade policy.
Second, geographical expansion, institutional and functional development, and the deepening of economic integration in the 1990s met with unintended consequences in the first decade of the 21st century. The rift within the EU members over whether or not to side with the United States in the invasion of Iraq, the constitutional crisis, the Lisbon crisis, and the willingness of members to turn to economic nationalism in the face of the global financial crisis are clear signs of a weakening new integration process in Europe.
Following Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, doubts about the prospects for economic growth and financial stability have grown. In the meantime, one of the consequences of Britain’s withdrawal from the European bloc will be its geopolitical effects, which will fundamentally shake the balance of power in Europe and force the Union to reconsider its global role.
Whispers of the # EU’s return to nationalism are heard more than ever these days. The symbols of a united Europe are challenged one by one by nations and even some European governments and parties. The simultaneous occurrence of security, economic, social and political crises in a united Europe has left no window for the effective survival of the European Union and the continuation of the rule of European institutions over the people. The reasons for the tendency of European citizens towards our situation before the formation of the European Union have shown themselves in the form of strengthening nationalist and anti-European groups. The return to nationalism in Europe is a phenomenon whose analysis requires a comprehensive understanding of the current developments on the Green Continent.
Nationalism is redefining itself as the main engine of political life. Multinational institutions such as the European Union and multinational trade agreements are challenged because some see them as incompatible with national interests. The accusation of increasing fascism stems from a deep misunderstanding of the meaning of fascism. “It is also an attempt to discredit the resurrection of nationalism in defence of the multinational systems that have dominated the West since World War II.”
Citizens of different European countries now feel the cost of being in the EU. Some analysts believe that this feeling was created after the security crises in Europe, but it should be remembered that in the European Parliament elections, a large number of representatives of nationalists and members of the far-right and left were elected for the European Parliament. Security incidents and crises in Europe have increased European citizens’ distrust of the European Union. They are now witnessing the inability of their group to face all kinds of social, economic, political and security crises. Collectivism in the European Union has been costly, and as a result, the growth of #nationalism has become undeniable.
What is happening in a united Europe is the product of a mismatch between the national interests of countries and the interests of multinational institutions, especially the European Union. Today, decades later, we are witnessing the emergence of symbols of nationalism in various European countries.