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Europe's Last Will And Testament?

June 25  2003

"There is no way Britain is going to give up our independent sovereign right to determine our tax policy, our foreign policy, our defense policy and our own borders," bristled Tony Blair.

Speaking for Britain, the PM was reacting to the draft of a first constitution for the European Union, soon to expand to 25 nations, written by former President Giscard d'Estaing of France. The questions raised by Giscard's ambitious constitution justify Blair's alarm.

They are: Will Europe sever its Christian roots? Will the nations of Europe surrender their sovereignty and submerge themselves in a super-state? Will Holland, France, Poland, Spain and 21 other nations agree to have the final decisions over immigration and taxation, war and peace, taken from their elected leaders and made for them by foreign rulers? Are the ancient states of Europe to be reduced to the status of provinces?

As Blair's defiance demonstrates, Europe is heading for a climactic battle between those who believe in national independence and those who would trade liberty for cradle-to-grave security and La Dolce Vita.

Each EU nation will have to decide itself whether to accept Giscard's constitution, or an amended version, or reject it and go its own way. But what is clear already is that the anti-patriots who wish to bring about an end of republics and nations are close to the final conquest of Europe.

To reach consensus on his constitution, Giscard deleted all references to God or Christianity. Though Europe was coterminous with Christendom from the time of Constantine, the new constitution will not even mention the continent's Christian heritage whence came so much of its most inspiring art, architecture, literature and music.

Spain, Italy and Poland, all Catholic, asked that Europe's Christian past be invoked. The secularists refused. Can one imagine the 22 Arab nations forming a political union without reference to Islam?

"The faith is Europe, Europe is the faith," wrote Belloc. No longer.

As Europeans debate the constitution and contemplate the end of their days as sovereign nations, they must also decide how they will be ruled. Under the new constitution, the European Council of national leaders would elect a supreme president of Europe who would serve for years.

Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission, wants to eliminate the small-nation veto over EU decisions and replace unanimous rule with majority rule. Any combination of nations representing 60 percent of the EU population could decide on taxes, budgets, immigration and defense, and make it binding on the rest. The dissent of half a dozen nations could be overridden.

Should it matter to us what Europe decides about its destiny? As Europe's nations were the mother countries to seven in 10 Americans, and our religious, intellectual and political roots are there, and we are responsible for Europe's defense, the answer is yes. For America to cut all her ties to Europe would be like Europe cutting her ties to Christianity.

"No man is an island," wrote the poet Donne, "every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

Well, the bell is tolling for Europe.

During the summit in Greece where the constitution was presented, EU leaders declared, "The European Union should be prepared to share in the responsibility for global security." Specifically mentioned was the need for North Korea to disgorge its nuclear weapons and for Iran to open up to U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities. But does anyone believe Europe would do anything about North Korea, or Iran, without the United States? In the '90s, Europe needed American help to cope with Slobodan Milosevic.

At a Paris conference last week, a Washington Post columnist snapped to attention when he heard that the European Union would shrink by 50 million people by 2050. That is, literally, not the half of it. In 2000, there were 727 million Europeans from Iceland to Russia. By 2050, that number is expected to fall to 600 million. Not one European nation, save Muslim Albania, has a birth rate high enough to keep it alive.

Europe is aging, dying, depopulating itself, with Russia leading the way, losing a million people every year. To maintain its lavish health, welfare and pension benefits, Europe must import millions of workers every decade from Africa and the Middle East.

Perhaps, as Europe shrinks and passes away, it does not really matter if they elect to give up their liberty and forget their Christian heritage.


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