Thursday, April 26, 2012

I no longer support the EU

There used to be a time when I used to support EU membership for Hungary. As a university student in the 1990s, I had high hopes for Hungary joining the organization, adopting the Euro as the currency and becoming a full member in NATO. Over a decade later, I have changed my view entirely. In essence, I have become a strong Eurosceptic. After the fall of communism in Hungary in 1989, many Hungarians were overjoyed in the fact that they had finally left the Soviet sphere of influence and communism. Hungary existed as a Soviet satellite state and under communist dictatorship for decades.

When the political system changed in 1989, Hungary was pushing for closer relations with the West as they still feared the return of the Russians/communists. The country was eying memberships in the EU and in NATO. Hungary finally joined NATO in 1999 and joined the EU by referendum in 2003. The proposal to join the EU was approved by 83.8% of voters, with a voter turnout of 45.6%. If the vote to join the EU was held today, most likely if would fail. This is in light of recent events with the economic hardships of other EU member states and the current situation between Hungary and the EU.

The EU was formally established with the Maastricht Treaty  in 1993. It also established the Euro as the common currency in the EU. Before the European Union, it was known as the European Economic Community or EEC. The intent of the EEC was to bring economic integration and a common market to Europe. This organization would give way to the EU eventually. As we can see, the EEC was strictly an economic union of European countries. The members still had political sovereignty and independence. But with the EU, countries have lost their economic and political sovereignty. Brussels essentially dictates terms to the member states in exchange of financial support. If you don't follow the EU's agenda, then you face the possibility of having your funds frozen, as in the recent case of Hungary.

Most recently, the EU has forced the toppling of elected governments in Greece and Italy. Makes you wonder if the whole EU is really democratic as many of their actions are pretty undemocratic. In addition, many of its top political posts unelected. There are also no more borders between EU member states as well, as there is free traffic between member states. It is a known fact that when you loose your national borders, you loose your sovereignty and independence.

By joining the EU, Hungary has lost her economic and political sovereignty. She has also lost her borders which protected her citizens and culture. Hungary has been dictated to by Brussels in how to run her political, economic and judicial systems. Furthermore, the EU has placed limits on Hungary's agricultural crops. Hungary's markets have been flooded by Western European goods from the larger EU countries. This hampers agricultural and economic growth in Hungary. Essentially, Hungary has become nothing more than an economic colony for the EU. The EU seems to benefit only the larger member states like Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The smaller countries like Hungary, are only to be used by the larger member states as markets for their goods and for EU membership payments.

I don't really think that Hungarians really knew what they were getting into when they voted to join the EU. The recent economic failures of member states and the situation between Hungary and the EU is showing the faults and cracks in the system. All of these problems were non-existent at the time Hungarians voted to join the EU. Furthermore, the voter turnout for the EU vote in Hungary was low. We had warnings from some Hungarians back in the 1990s not to join the EU. I now only wish that we had heeded their warnings.