The leaders of 16 political parties from across Europe have announced an unprecedented alliance to defend the sovereignty of European nation states, protect the nuclear family and preserve traditional Judeo-Christian values.
The July 2 "Joint Declaration on the Future of the European Union" represents the first significant endeavor by euroskeptic parties to jointly oppose efforts by European federalists to transform the European Union into a godless multicultural superstate.
Signatories include Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. The document, penned by former Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who leads the powerful Law and Justice (PiS) party, has also been signed by conservative parties in Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain.
The document states that the European Union requires "profound reform" because, "instead of protecting Europe," it has itself become "a source of problems, anxiety and uncertainty." The signatories say that the EU has become a tool of "radical forces" that are determined to carry out a civilizational transformation of Europe. Their objective, they say, is to create a European superstate void of European traditions, social institutions or moral principles.
The signatories say that conservative establishment parties in Europe have abandoned traditional Judeo-Christian values and have aligned themselves with leftist positions for political gain. They are especially critical of mass migration policies that have allowed millions of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to settle in Europe even though many newcomers reject European values.
"The recently launched debate on the future of Europe should include the voice of the parties committed to the freedom of nations and the traditions of European peoples, the parties representing citizens devoted to the European tradition.
"The turbulent history of Europe, especially during the last century, brought many misfortunes. Nations that defended sovereignty and territorial integrity against aggressors suffered beyond human imagination. After World War II, some European countries had to fight the domination of Soviet totalitarianism for decades before regaining their independence.
"This independence, the Atlantic link between the EU and NATO, as well as peace between cooperating nations, are great achievements for many Europeans, giving them a permanent sense of security and creating optimal conditions for development. The integration process has contributed greatly to creating lasting cooperation structures and to maintaining peace, mutual understanding, and good relations between states. This work must be maintained as an epoch-making value.
"However, the series of crises that have shaken Europe over the past ten years have shown that European cooperation efforts are faltering, above all because nations feel that they are slowly being stripped of their right to exercise their legitimate sovereign powers.
"The European Union needs profound reform because today, instead of protecting Europe and its heritage, instead of enabling the free development of European nations, it is itself becoming a source of problems, anxiety and uncertainty.
"The EU is increasingly becoming a tool of radical forces that would like to carry out a cultural and religious transformation of Europe — and ultimately a construction of a Europe without nations. Their aim is to create a European superstate by destroying or cancelling European tradition and transforming basic social institutions and moral principles.
"The use of political and legal structures to create a European superstate and new forms of social structuring is a manifestation of the dangerous and invasive social engineering of the past, which must elicit legitimate resistance. The moralistic overactivity that we have seen in recent years in the EU institutions has led to a dangerous tendency to impose an ideological monopoly.
"We are convinced that the cooperation of European nations must be based on tradition, on respect for the culture and history of European States, on respect for the Judeo-Christian heritage of Europe and on the common values that unite our nations — and not in their destruction. We reaffirm our belief that the family is the basic unit of our nations. At a time when Europe is facing a severe demographic crisis with low birth rates and an aging population, pro-family policymaking should be the response rather than mass immigration.
"We are convinced that the sovereigns of Europe are and will continue to be the nations of Europe. The European Union has been created by these nations to achieve objectives that can be achieved more effectively by the Union than by individual member states. However, the limits of the Union's competences are set by the principle of conferral: all competences not conferred upon the Union belong to the Member States, respecting the principle of subsidiarity.
"Through a constant reinterpretation of EU Treaties by the institutions of the European Union in recent decades, these limits have shifted significantly to the detriment of the member states. This is incompatible with the fundamental values of the Union and leads to a decline in the confidence of European nations and their citizens in these institutions.
"To stop and reverse this trend, it is necessary to create, in addition to the existing principle of conferral, a set of inviolable powers of the EU's member states and an adequate mechanism for their protection with the participation of national constitutional courts or equivalent bodies.
"All attempts to transform European institutions into bodies that take precedence over national constitutional institutions create chaos, undermine the sense of the treaties and call into question the fundamental role of the constitutions of EU member states. The resulting disputes over competences, in effect, settled by the brutal imposition of the will of the politically stronger entities on the weaker ones. This destroys the basis for the functioning of the European Community as a community of free nations.
"We believe that consensus must remain the basic means of reaching a common position in the Union. Recent attempts to circumvent this procedure or the ideas of its abolition threaten to exclude some countries from influence in decision-making and to transform the Union into a special form of oligarchy. This could lead to the de facto incapacitation of national constitutional bodies, including governments and parliaments, reduced to the function of approving decisions already taken by others.
"In the member countries there continues to be an overwhelming desire to cooperate, and a spirit of community and friendship permeates the nations and societies of our continent. It is our great capital. A reformed Union will make use of this capital, while a Union that rejects reform will squander it.
"That is why today we present this document to all parties and groups that share our points of view as the basis for a common cultural and political work, respecting the role of current political groups.
"Let's reform the Union together for the future of Europe!"
Europe's 'Civilizationalist' Parties
The document is a response to French President Emmanuel Macron, who, in March 2019, called for a "European renewal" based on more, not less, federalism. In the wake of an impending Brexit, he demanded a "common border force," a "European asylum office," a "treaty on defense and security," and a "European Climate Bank" to "finance the ecological transition." Macron further called for the creation of a "Conference for Europe" to counter "nationalists" who, he claimed, "exploit the people's anger."
Since then, the Coronavirus pandemic has laid bare many failures of the European Union, including the disintegration of Europe's open border system; the looming collapse of Europe's single currency; the breakdown of Europe's much-vaunted healthcare systems; and the "epochal failure" of the EU's Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
In April 2021, the 27 EU member states, after two years of bickering, grudgingly announced a plan to launch a "Conference on the Future of Europe" that will "invite" EU citizens "to contribute to shaping their own future and that of Europe as a whole." Presumably, only ideas that promote further multicultural federalism will be welcome.
Not everyone is convinced that more "Europe" is what is needed. Writing for Politico, Maïa de La Baume observed:
"Some EU officials are doubtful that an additional layer of bureaucracy — the conference will have a 'Joint Presidency,' an 'Executive Board,' a 'Conference Plenary' and a 'Common Secretariat' — will solve the EU's already confusing bureaucratic ills....
"As the only institution that EU citizens directly elect, the Parliament positioned itself as the lead institution and main architect on the matter.
"Yet while the European Council took many of the Parliament's proposals on board in its declaration, the joint presidency will take away much of the power the Parliament had hoped to wield. And the final declaration also removed any mention of treaty change, another significant blow to the Parliament's initial proposal."
European federalists spitefully have branded critics of a European superstate as "far right," "neo-fascist," and "radical right wing." In fact, they could best be described as "civilizationalists," a term coined by the American historian Daniel Pipes. In a November 2018 essay, "Europe's Civilizationalist Parties," he wrote:
"Better to call them 'civilizationist,' focusing on their cultural priority, because they feel intense frustration at watching their way of life disappear. They cherish Europe's and the West's traditional culture and want to defend it from assault by immigrants aided by the left. (The term civilizationist has the additional benefit of excluding those parties that loathe Western civilization, such as Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.)
"Civilizationalist parties are populist, anti-immigration, and anti-Islamization. Populist means nursing grievances against the system and a suspicion of an elite that ignores or denigrates those concerns....
"At the height of the migrant tsunami in 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to a voter worried about uncontrolled migration with... condescending advice about attending church services more often.
"Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, flatly announced that Europe 'cannot and will never be able to stop migration' and proceeded to lecture his fellow citizens: 'It is naive to think that our societies will remain homogenous and migration-free if one erects fences. ... We all need to be ready to accept migration, mobility, and diversity as the new norm.'
"Former Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt argued for more migrants: 'I often fly over the Swedish countryside and I would advise others to do. There are endless fields and forests. There's more space than you might imagine.'.... Their contemptuous dismissal of anti-immigration sentiments created an opportunity for civilizationist parties through much of Europe....
"Civilizationist parties, led by Italy's League, are anti-immigration, seeking to control, reduce, and even reverse the immigration of recent decades, especially that of Muslims and Africans. These two groups stand out not because of prejudice ("Islamophobia" or racism) but due to their being the least assimilable of foreigners, an array of problems associated with them, such as not working and criminal activity, and a fear that they will impose their ways on Europe.
"Finally, the parties are anti-Islamization. As Europeans learn about Islamic law (Sharia), they increasingly focus on its role concerning women's issues, such as niqabs and burqas, polygamy, taharrush (sexual assault), honor killings, and female genital mutilation. Other concerns deal with Muslim attitudes toward non-Muslims, including Christophobia and Judeophobia, jihadi violence, and the insistence that Islam enjoy a privileged status vis-à-vis other religions."
Additional Comments by Signatories
The author of the document, former Polish President Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said that the EU is "preparing to carry out a cultural revolution that will destroy social structures, starting with the family and traditions, and create a new man." He added: "We don't want this revolution, which we believe will bring unhappiness and a drastic decline in the freedoms of individuals and countries."
Estonian MEP Jaak Madison, the deputy chairman of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), added that the declaration is the first step toward the consolidation of European national conservative parties:
"With this joint declaration, a foundation has been laid for the creation of a potential new group in the European Parliament. This would be one of the biggest groups in the European Parliament, which would bring together Poles, Hungarians, Estonians, the French, Austrians, Danes, Finns, Italians and representatives of several more states in the European Parliament."
Santiago Abascal, the leader of Spain's conservative party Vox, said that the EU's "Conference on the Future of Europe" demonstrates, once again, the disconnect between European institutions and European citizens:
"The EU's 'Conference on the Future of Europe' has already written its conclusions. It seeks the forced federalization of the EU against the true will of European nations and apart from the national parliaments.
"This initiative directly threatens the original European project and seeks to impose a model of society increasingly distant from the principles and values that make up the Christian roots and history of Europe.
"We do not want a federal Europe in which all decisions are made in Brussels. We have to show that millions of Europeans respect, value and want to preserve as something good, and that we are willing to defend the sovereignty of our nations and parliaments, our governments and our judges, the plurality and variety of our nations; that borders must be an insurmountable wall for those who enter illegally or do not have the will to respect Western civilization; that there can be no freedom without security and without justice; and that we firmly believe in the person, in life, in the family and in ideological freedom and thinking."
Marine Le Pen, leader of the French opposition party Rassemblement National (National Rally), said:
"The European Union continues to pursue the federalist path which inexorably distances it from the peoples who are the beating heart of our civilization.
"The 'Conference on the Future of Europe' is just yet another smokescreen that will allow the EU to dispossess states of the capacity to control their destiny.
"Armed with this observation, the most influential patriotic parties on the continent have understood the importance of joining forces to have more influence in the debates and reform the European Union....
"This founding text brings together parties and political leaders who, in their respective countries, are the dominant or ascending forces. Carried by the popular will, these groups will soon be in the majority.
"The signatories of the declaration plead for a Europe that is respectful of free peoples and nations. They cannot accept that the peoples are subjected to the bureaucratic and technocratic ideology of Brussels which imposes its standards in all aspects of daily life.
"This in no way means that it is necessary to act in an isolated or reclusive manner: on the contrary, it is by combining the know-how and talents specific to each nation — and not by merging them into a whole without identity and therefore without flavor — that we will make our civilization shine.
"At a time when the globalists and Europeanists, of whom Emmanuel Macron is the main representative in France, are launching the 'Conference on the Future of Europe,' which aims to increase the power of European bodies, today's agreement is the first step towards the constitution of a great alliance in the European Parliament."