We have previously discussed President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and his controversial statements. Juncker for many is the face of the detached and arrogant bureaucracy that dictates policies and practices in various nations. While the EU has long tried to assure people that it is not replacing their national identity or self-determination, Juncker has always been dismissive of such concerns, even with growing anti-EU movements. That dismissive attitude was evident this week when Juncker said on CNN “These populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists, they are in love with their own countries.”
The notion of people being stupid for being “in love with their own countries” embodied the fears of critics that the EU was always an effort to erase national identity, as least in governance and policy.
He added “They don’t like those coming from far away, I like those coming from far away … we have to act in solidarity with those who are in a worse situation than we are in . . . It’s always easier to mobilize negative forces than to mobilize positive forces.”
Of course, Juncker has never mobilized any forces beyond the top European elite. His CNN interview embodies his leadership style of disdainful and cavalier comments. He previously blasted the very notion of national borders.
It is remarkably stupid for Juncker to openly maintain such a position when the EU is fighting to dampen calls for exits from the organization.
I do not view national identity and governance to be an act of stupidity. What has always concerns me about the EU is how it is distant from those who are living under its dictates. While nations continue to maintain their governments, the EU increasingly dictates the conditions under which businesses operate and individuals live. The democratic element of government is not nearly as strong with the EU, which is run by experts who operate well above the fray of local politics.
Many people define patriotism as “being in love with your own country.”
I have always viewed Juncker to be a disaster as a president. Indeed, the fact that he has remained in the position shows the lack of real democratic elements over who controls the organization. With a poll showing that the majority of Europeans expect the EU to collapse in 20 years, one would think that Juncker would be trying to establish new alliances and giving greater assurances. Instead, he has continued his signature style of arrogant and dismissive comments to anyone who believes in national governance.
If the EU does collapse, it will have much to do with the reckless and imperial rule of Jean-Claude Juncker.