I find the question in the title of this session not well specified. Europe is a continent. It is not a political or decision-making unit. It is a geographical, cultural and civilisational entity. To a certain degree Europe is a homogeneous area, an area culturally and civilisationally different from the rest of the world. It is special and extraordinary because of its Judeo-Greek-Christian roots, because of its Reformation and Enlightenment, because of its Westphalian concept of nation-states, because of its very problematic and ambivalent French revolution, to name just a few characteristics of it.

The European Union is something else. It is a man-made, temporary and transitory construct. Some of us see it as a solution if not a salvation, some of us see it as a danger, if not a straight-jacket. The current EU, as opposed to its original project, is the result of constructivist ambitions to undermine the genuine, naturally risen diversity and plurality in Europe by means of creating a centralistic structure of society, by increasing the role of administrative bodies as opposed to elected politicians, by transforming democracy into post-democracy, by homogenising, harmonising, standardising the continent, by weakening the states as fundamental and irreplaceable political entities, etc.

To ask for “more or less Europe” actually means to ask for “more of EU and less of European nation-states” or, eventually, vice versa. If it is so, my answer to such a question – expressed very explicitly and repeated many times elsewhere as well as in my previous presentations at Vienna Congress com.sult – is very clear and straightforward. It is, however, to my great regret, not considered politically correct.

In any case, I want to live in a Europe with less of EU and with more of nation- states. To achieve this we need more Brexits or, alternatively and more positively, a radical, revolutionary restructuring and transformation of the EU, of its institutions, of its policies, of its ruling ideology. There is no other way, there is no third way.

Why is it necessary to make a change? My arguments are very simple and – I hope – understandable. I do not want to live again in an era of a visible decline of freedom, in an era defined by a growing and highly irresponsible lack of interest in freedom and authentic parliamentary democracy. I am not ready to be reconciled with a long lasting European economic stagnation and relative decline, and with the continuous undermining of what we – culturally and civilisationally – traditionally take as Europe, as European values and attitudes.

I see in the following fields the main manifestations of this unfavourable development:

1. I see them in a shift in power from elected politicians to unelected bureaucracy, from legislators to executives, from local and regional authorities to central governments, from national parliaments to Brussels (and Strasbourg), which means from the citizen to the state.

2. I see them in a cumulative, exponentially growing regulation and control of all kinds of human activities. The regulatory and administrative state started to touch also the intimate, very personal spheres of our lives, not just the economic field as it used to be in the past.

3. I see and witness them in the replacement of freedom with rights. The ideology of rights – I call it human-rightism – has become the basis of a new model of society, of its institutional arrangements, of its guiding principles. It is a part of an everlasting illusion of all non-democrats to abolish politics.

4. I see them in the victorious crusade of environmentalism and global warming alarmism. (I agree with the French author Pascal Bruckner that “all the foolishness of Bolshevism and Marxism are reformulated in the name of saving the planet”.)

5.  Last but not least, I see them in the arrogance of the exponents of feminism, genderism, multiculturalism, and of other similar postmodern “-isms” and doctrines.

The currently prevailing EU ideology (I call it Europeism) systematically undermines the traditional, historically proven building blocks of the European society:

– the nation-state – by favouring regions to states and by attacking the nation-state as the breeding ground for nationalism (and, therefore, for wars);

– the family – by promoting genderism and feminism, by proposing all kinds of registered partnerships and same-sex marriages, by questioning the natural sexual orientation of men and women;

– the man – by trying to create a new European man, homo bruxellarum, by artificially mixing citizens of European countries and – because it was not proved to be sufficient – by promoting and organising the mass immigration to Europe of individuals without European roots.

The European elites want to destroy nations, religion, civilisation and culture, they want to create a fragmented society of atomised individuals who would blindly follow their instructions, directives and progressivist models of behaviour. French President Macron made it clear when he said that “there is no such thing as French culture”.

All what is going on in Europe now is done under the umbrella of political correctness, multiculturalism and human-rightism. These “-isms” (or doctrines) have become the principal ways and methods of how to block a serious discussion about fundamental issues, how to eliminate free speech, how to indoctrinate new generations, and how to silence the opposition. Some of us experienced such a situation in the Communist era. That is why we feel it so strongly and painfully.

Why and how all that happened?

I am afraid the people in Europe did not and do not fully appreciate the far- reaching implications of the 1960s, the fact that this “romantic” era was a period of the radical and destructive denial of the authority, of traditional values and social institutions.

I am afraid the people in Europe underestimated and continue to underestimate that the growing apotheosis of human rights is in fact a revolutionary denial of civic rights and of many liberties and behavioural patterns connected with them. Human rights do not need any citizenship. That is why human-rightism calls for the destruction of the sovereignty of individual countries.

I am afraid the people in Europe did not see and do not see all the side-effects of the undergoing European integration process. Most of them see only what the EU propaganda wants them to see. They seemingly believe that the EU is

– a peace-guaranteeing community of nations;

– a democratically run grouping of countries, where the demos feels like a demos;

– a coherent entity monoculturally based on mutually shared values and behavioural patterns;

– an entity which centralises only a small part of decision-making;

– a conglomerate of countries where all are equal (in the Orwellian sense);

– a family-like institution where the weaker members are significantly helped by the stronger ones;

– an institution where the opposition to official views is welcome, allowed and made possible.

Nothing can be farther from the truth than this propagandistic scheme. The current European Union is

– an entity without demos, which means without democracy;

– an entity with only a weak common identity. As regards our identity, we are primarily Czechs, Austrians or Hungarians. And we are proud of it. Europe has never been a melting pot;

– an entity which misuses the term subsidiarity for disguising the actual state of affairs and the ever-growing centralisation of the EU decision- making;

– an entity with one dominant country, Germany;

– an entity without authentic, genuine solidarity;

– an entity constrained and weakened by its non-functioning monetary union and by its irresponsible Schengen arrangements.

Therefore, the issue is not more or less Europe. The issue is more or less of the EU or of European nation-states. My stance is – I hope – sufficiently clear.

* Introductory note at the panel “More or less Europe?”, the Vienna com.sult Congress, House of Industry, Vienna, 30 January 2018.

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