With the potential reelection of Donald Trump comes the inevitable populist sequel of his “America first” foreign policy. The United States ally diplomacy has been fundamentally disrupted by the campaign’s rhetoric. Shockingly Trump’s administration has shaken its ties with Europe resulting in weakened transatlantic cooperation between the EU & US seemingly without no economic benefit. At the same time, China’s power is growing in the far East, backed by Russia. Both countries along with regional powers such as Iran and Turkey post the greatest threat to the current world order and its democratic system.
The potential of imminent global instability has rallied alarmists in Europe who are pushing for a more swift European integration. The argument for establishing Europe’s separate path in the name of military security and economic self-sufficiency without US involvement is now politically justified more than ever.
How does the EU currently size up against other global powers?
In contrast to the military perspective, determining a country’s might through its government and societal function would not be an overstatement. Currently, the EU has the second biggest economy in nominal terms after the US, and European citizens are third in purchasing power. It is a champion in regulatory standards, leading the world in consumer protection, human rights, and civil freedom. Its member states either dominate or have a strong presence in every top global ranking from Education & Innovation to Fiscal stability & Military power.
Its legislative power is pushed by a supranational system that passes multinational regulations which are then implemented on an intergovernmental level through directives voted by the regional authorities of the member states. Even though this approach exerts itself well overall, it does not enjoy the same success in the case of the Eastern and Central regions of the EU. Member states such as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Poland for example are often sanctioned and penalized by the European Court of Justice for failing to implement EU regulation. Despite the political and economic consequences of the numerous court rulings, the same states defy many regulations due to pressure from corruption. Internal barriers among the many EU members cause division on key policies and weaken Europe’s united approach to external threats. These setbacks have issued the following question:
How can Europe eliminate its neverending internal divisions?
To act swiftly in the name of success one must be bold. In the EU’s case, that bold act might be its progression towards a constitutional monarchy in order to achieve strong political consolidation.
Out of the 27 member states, 10 currently have acting monarchs. If the same royal families find political support through a new major treaty, this could win the public approval to make the move politically sound. The historical consensus is that the monarchs of Europe have often been the ones to push the idea of pan-European unity. The noble families of Europe share common ancestry and religion, which would appease any traditional outcry. The present-day majority of Europeans share common values more than ever and a constitutional monarchy could be an instrument to voice them.
To this day the greatest threat to the EU is fear instigated by populists. Nationalist populism will always have a base in Europe due to the following factor:
The rural European’s perception of the Union.
Often the EU is associated with the loss of identity, culture, and tradition in favor of globalism and immigration. The pursuit of ultra-left progressive policy often just doesn’t resonate with the constituency from all sides of the political spectrum. For that reason being, an acting monarch could help smooth Europe’s transition from a multinational state to a single superstate. This seemingly progressive step could just as easily be perceived as a push towards conservative and rightfully so..historic European traditions. Leadership under a united royal family could provide security in the union’s societies as an acting guarantor for European Judeo-Christian traditions dismantling all future populist claims in the eyes of the public.
Ideology often makes policy
To counter France’s potential republican outcry this act would of course be symbolic in terms of political power but monumental regarding EU development. The democratic foundation of the union would remain the status quo.
Countries such as France and members from Eastern & Central Europe were constructed on 19th-century nationalism and could easily be rebuilt on pan-European patriotism. In the name of ”Liberty, equality and fraternity” as once the great Napolean stated, ethnonationalism has been viewed as a guarantor of such values. Despite that notion, nationalism has hijacked the sense of responsibility to defend the same ideals. Currently, the greatest threat to economic, cultural, and political freedoms are being perpetuated in Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, and Romania. The existence of Europe’s future lies within solving an identity argument. An argument that may find its patriotic answer in the face of European royalty.
Author: Zlatin Kurshumov, published in Chicago Illinois.