segunda-feira, junho 06, 2005

“What's Wrong With Europe”,

This is the irony of last week's votes. It was a revolutionary moment that will keep things as they are. In fact, one could argue that Europeans cast their votes in the full knowledge that it would have changed nothing in their day-to-day lives. That means it provided the perfect opportunity for a symbolic protest vote. But symbolism does matter. And the signal that has been sent is threefold.
First, it's a signal against economic reform. If you want to understand why people voted against the constitution, listen to the advocates of rejection. Virtually no one campaigned against a more unified foreign policy (which has more than 70 percent support in poll after poll) or more coordinated police work (which, post-9/11, is also extremely popular). Almost all those leading the "no" movement spoke out against one thing above all—the free-market-oriented reforms that Brussels is associated with…
The second signal that this vote sends is against immigration and labor mobility. The "no" from Holland is clearly related to this. The nightmare unfolding in that country is that a large segment of its North African immigrant population is proving to be illiberal, unwilling to assimilate and, increasingly, violent. Against this grim backdrop, the Dutch look at an ever-expanding Europe of lowered borders with great suspicion. There is a related backlash against foreign aid. The Dutch are now the largest per capita contributors to Europe and believe that the EU's expansion has taken place on their backs.

Fareed Zakaria, “What's Wrong With Europe”, Newsweek