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Otto von Habsburg & the Christian Renaissance in Europe

LETTERS FROM EUROPE

By John Warwick Montgomery | November 1994
The Rev. John Warwick Montgomery, a Lutheran, is a practicing barrister and Professor of Law and Humanities at the University of Luton in England.

A battle is currently raging in Europe which will ultimately influence the course of history to a far greater extent than eastern European ethnic wars. I refer to the battle between those who wish to create a European political union (a “United States of Eu­rope”) and those who do not.

On the side of the Eurocentrists one meets the outgoing head of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, whose efforts to duplicate himself in the choice of his successor came to grief through United Kingdom veto. On the anti-Maastricht (i.e., anti-po­litical union) side one encounters ex-Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher and her counterparts in most Euro­pean countries, who roundly condemn the centraliz­ing tendencies in Brussels and the top-heavy Eurocracy which would erode national sovereignty and dictate (inter alia) a uniform color for telephone booths throughout the continent.

Those who favor European political union argue that only a united Europe can hope to succeed against the incredible economic pressure exerted by the United States. American goods and services — and the ideological impact of American films, pop music, and teen idioms — are fully capable of swallowing up European culture. The individual Euro­pean countries are simply not capable of marshaling effective resistance. Only a united Europe, say the Europaphiles, can repel the Americanization of the continent and its ancient culture.

The Europaphobes, however, see a bureaucratic United States of Europe as an even greater evil. In their view, so much diversity of national tradition ex­ists in Europe that to try to homogenize it would be to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The stron­ger the national spirit, the more such an argument is persuasive. Thus, almost 50 percent of French voters were opposed to ratifying the Maastricht Treaty. It is well known that the majority of the populace in En­gland opposes the unifying Treaty (though the so-called “special relationship” between the U.K. and the U.S. undoubtedly has powerful influence over En­glish thinking in this area).

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