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Success for whom?

June 26th, 2001

A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 26 June 2001.

You say (today) that “anyone looking dispassionately would have to account it (the EU) more a success than a failure”.  The question is success for whom?

Certainly it’s a success for the “rich distant élite of bureaucrats” as you describe them, and the mainly retread politicians who act as EU commissioners.  But democracy in Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Denmark was established or re-established by the Allied military victory in 1945 and Western Europe’s peace since then guaranteed by NATO not by the EU as your editorial seems to imply.

The small EU countries may have gained in self-esteem since the EU gives their politicians a chance from time to time to act as if they are in charge of Europe’s destiny, while senior French bureaucrats actually call the shots.  But does anyone seriously believe that Germany would not be the third largest economy in the world, or that Britain’s fishing would be all but destroyed, if they were not members of the EU?