By Eric Bonse, Brussels.* The EU is moving further and further away from its ideals. Not only in Greece or Turkey, in Hungary or Poland – but also in France and Germany. The permanent state of emergency threatens.
“Sovereign is he who decides the state of emergency.” This is a quote by C. Schmitt, pioneer of authoritarian leadership. What would he say about this Europe? The state of emergency is spreading, but a sovereign decision is no longer recognizable. It started in Greece, where an “experiment in post-democratic governance lore” is being conducted. Then, France – after the assassinations by “IS” – declared the state of emergency. Belgium followed shortly after, heavily-armed soldiers are still protecting the EU institutions in Brussels today. Afterwards – in the course of the so-called refugee crisis – it was the turn of Hungary, the Balkan, eventually also Austria and Germany. The borders were shut, in Hungary the military rolled out.
All of this was only going to last a short period of time, we reassured ourselves when it started. After a few months, things will settle down. The EU will make sure. But we were wrong. First the Eurogroup decided to keep Greece in the Troika-Regime, even after the 3rd bailout. If things go according to finance minister Schäuble, the foreign rule will go on until 2028, at a minimum. Then France decided to extend their own state of emergency. First once, then twice, now at least until the presidential elections in April 2017. If Le Pen wins, it will probably go on forever. Recently, news emerged that Germany does not seem to be ready to go back to normality either – the border controls are planned to go on at least until the elections for the Bundestag in the autumn of 2017.
“Europe is planning the surveillance state”
And this despite the fact that hardly any refugees get through from Austria! No matter, it goes on and on. The fortress Europe is in the process of being fortified in a massive way. Quote from the “Tagesspiegel”:
Militarily organized situation centers, databases about umpteen millions of people, extensive surveillance through remote-controlled drones, added to this are funds for research worth billions and the subsequent acquisition of the required technology – hardly noticed by their citizens, the governments of the European Union are operating a serious long-term project: the industrial armament to control the outer borders.
“Europe is planning the surveillance state”, is how investigative journalists around H. Schumann are summarizing the high-tech projects. Billions are being invested in new security technology.
And in order for them to be worth it, the state of emergency cannot end after the elections 2017. It has to go on, always go on – a sovereign that could say “stop” is something we haven’t had for a long time. Right?
*This text appeared first on the Eric Bonse’s weblog Lost in Europe. Republished with permission of the author. [15.1.2017]