Britain’s EU vote a lesson for all nations

EU constituents were willing, freethinking nations seeking collective security, social and economic advantages

To The editor;

Some months before the European Union’s formal creation in 1993, I was in Fontainbleau, France, in an energetic debate about the foreseen benefits of the emerging Union.

In our large group, I was the only one to have misgivings and consequently expressed my belief the Union would eventually break up.

My reason was based on observations of global geopolitics. Scores of nations, most unwillingly brought into a colonial sphere, would eventually feel compelled to express their inherent cultural uniqueness and corresponding need for independence.

Even small island nations that would obviously be worse off economically and in governance effectiveness would feel their independence trumped remaining under the guidance or direct governance of others.

Certainly, the EU constituents were willing, freethinking nations seeking collective security, social and economic advantages.

That notwithstanding, the EU would — by its own agreed strategy — obligate members to subordinate many decisions to the collective.

I saw this as naturally and even imperceptibly leading to certain countries yearning for increased self-expression outside of the legal framework once some EU decision were perceived as impinging, if not actually grating, on a country’s cultural DNA.

In this respect, whether it be right or wrong, a very homogenous Hungary’s unwillingness to dilute itself with outsiders, Germany’s perceived dominance, Greece’s financial embarrassment causing it to consider collaboration from outside the EU, virulent disagreement on migrant management and the EU’s inherently wicked complexity are among the canaries illustrative of a weakening superorganization.

The aims were and are still laudable and salvaging is still plausible, but the process of creating and abiding by mutually acceptable laws and practices must be considerably refined through more diligent, patient, sensitive and culturally relevant civil society cum government participation.

There is a serious lesson in this for all nations.

Ivan G. Somlai

Kamloops, B.C.