Posts tagged with: european union

President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held their last joint press conference as heads of state on Thursday, pressing national leaders – in President Obama’s words – “not to take for granted the importance of the transatlantic alliance.” And they grounded that longstanding partnership on their conception of the bedrock principles that they believe unite North America and the EU.

“The commitment of the United States to Europe is enduring and it’s rooted in the values we share,” Obama said, “our commitment to democracy, our commitment to the rule or law, our commitment to the dignity of all people, in our own countries and around the world.” Merkel agreed that the transatlantic alliance is “based on our shared values.” The tone and content of their press conference echoed Merkel’s statement following Donald Trump’s election as president, as well as their joint New York Times op-ed, also published Thursday, in which Obama and Merkel call on transatlantic nations to “seize the opportunity to shape globalization based on our values and our ideas.”

The notion of shared U.S.-European values has undergone a resurgence since America’s presidential election. French socialist president François Hollande urged President-elect Trump to “respect” such “principles” as “democracy, freedoms, and the respect of every individual.” Other EU leaders have made similar statements. (more…)

In a recent article for The Telegraph, Sir Roger Scruton discusses the importance of national borders in Europe and the threat that the EU poses to them.  He explains how religion once united Europe but since religion began to fade in the 17th century, territory took over as the principle that Europeans turn to in order to find unity.  Scruton says this:

European civilisation has been steadily replacing religion with territory as the source of political unity. The process began in the 17th century, as the call for popular sovereignty and national unity began to be heard above the noise of religious conflict.  Following the French Revolution and Napoleon’s failed attempt at a pan-European Empire, Europe emerged as a collection of nation states.

Scruton goes on to talk about how national identity contributed to the outcome of the Second World War: (more…)

An EU official hangs the Union Jack next to the European Union flag at the VIP entrance at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting EU leaders two days ahead of a crucial EU summit. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

An EU official hangs the Union Jack next to the European Union flag at the VIP entrance at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

In the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union, many are wondering what led the majority of voters to affirm the Brexit. In his commentary Brexit: Against the Political Class, Samuel Gregg points out a common element in all of the motivations behind the “Leave” decision: a frustration with established career politicians. Gregg writes:

The reasons why a majority of British voters decided that their nation was better off outside the European Union were many and not always in sync. They range from those angry at successive British governments’ failure to maintain sovereign-borders, free-marketers who like immigration but regard bloc-economies like the EU as passé in a global economy, to those unhappy with British laws being supplanted by top-down directives mandated from Brussels. But if there is one theme that united the “Leave” forces, it was animus against the political class.

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Students attend the launch of the 'Brighter Future In' campaign bus at Exeter University in Exeter, Britain April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Dan Kitwood/Pool/File Photo

REUTERS/Dan Kitwood/Pool/File Photo

The EU’s bureaucracy underlies the British voter’s desire to leave the Union. In his June 26 piece for The Catholic World Report, Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg maps out the EU’s origins and decline, and Britain’s consequential cry to leave its grasp. Gregg explains that although British voters chose to vote for Brexit for various reasons, “It’s hard, however, to deny that the EU’s top-down approach to public life, its stealth supplanting of national laws, and, perhaps above all, the sheer arrogance of its political-bureaucratic leadership played a major role in causing 52 percent of British voters to say that enough was enough.”

Gregg reveals that German economist Wilhelm Röpke  prophesied the EU’s descent and his predictions were “spot-on”. Due to the actualization of Röpke’s warnings and Britain’s subsequent vote for Brexit, Britain’s next prime minister “will require considerable dexterity” to clear away the debris left from the division. (more…)

With Great Britain’s stunning decision to leave the European Union, media outlets have been looking for commentary to explain the motivations for the move and the likely consequences, and Acton’s experts have risen to the challenge.

Acton’s Director of International Outreach Todd Huizinga – author of The New Totalitarian Temptation, which provides a great deal of insight and background on the European Union – joined BuisnessWeek contributor Eric Schiffer on Newsmax Prime on Friday evening to discuss the vote and its aftermath, and Director of Research Samuel Gregg – author of Becoming Europe, another fine resource for those interested in the problems faced by the EU (and the US) – joined host Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio’s Kresta in the Afternoon to share his thoughts on the move and the likely economic consequences of Brexit for Britain and the rest of the European Union. Video and audio are posted below.

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Getty

The United Kingdom shocked everyone and made the decision to leave the European Union. With 72.2 percent voter turnout, 51.9 percent chose to leave. England and Wales voted to leave while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. You can see a breakdown of the referendum numbers at the Telegraph.

Acton’s director of international outreach and author of The New Totalitarian Temptation, Todd Huizinga, issued the following statement congratulating the Brits on their decision:

Hats off to the British people and the courage they showed in the Brexit referendum.  Despite the fear-mongering and scare tactics of the Remain campaigners and the European Union, the British reclaimed their right to self-government.  They have set an example for people all around the world, and especially in the West.  With the ongoing erosion of democratic sovereignty occurring in Europe and America, the politicization of the courts and the alarming growth of the administrative state throughout the West, we are called to emulate the strength of conviction of the British and reassert control over those we elect and the bureaucracies that are meant to be accountable to those who represent us.

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On this edition of Radio Free Acton, we take a look at the upcoming referendum in Great Britain which will decide the fate of the UK’s membership in the European Union. Todd Huizinga, Acton’s Director of International Relations and author of The New Totalitarian Temptation: Global Governance and the Crisis of Democracy in Europe, joins the podcast fresh from his latest European trip and shares his analysis of the pros and cons for Britain, as well as the reaction in Brussels to the vote and what it may portend for the future of the EU.

You can listen to the podcast via the audio player below; I’ve posted links to some of the articles we discussed after the jump.

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