On Jan. 1, 2002, the day that euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation, my column, "Say Goodbye to the Mother Continent," contained this pessimistic prognosis: "This European superstate will not endure, but break apart on the barrier reef of nationalism. For when the hard times come, patriots will recapture control of their national destinies from Brussels bureaucrats to whom no one will ever give loyalty or love."
The column described what was already happening.
"Europe is dying. There is not a single nation in all of Europe with a birth rate sufficient to keep its population alive, except Muslim Albania. In 17 European nations, there are already more burials than births, more coffins than cradles.
"Between 2000 and 2050, Asia, Africa and Latin America will add 3 billion to 4 billion people — 30 to 40 new Mexicos! — as Europe loses the equal of the entire population of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany.
"By 2050, the median age in Europe will be 50, nine years older than the oldest nation on earth today, Japan. One in 10 Europeans will be over 80. And who will take care of these scores of millions of elderly, before the Dutch doctors arrive at the nursing home?
"Immigrants is the answer, immigrants already pouring into Europe in the hundreds of thousands annually from the Middle East and Africa, changing the character of the Old Continent. Just as Europe once invaded and colonized Asia, Africa and the Near East, the once-subject peoples are coming to colonize the mother countries. And as the Christian churches of Europe empty out, the mosques are going up.
"Yet, even as great nations like France, Germany, Italy and Spain grow weary of the strain of staying independent, sovereign and free, the sub-nations within are struggling to be born again. In Scotland, Wales, Ulster, Corsica, the Basque country and northern Italy are secessionist movements not unlike those that broke up Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union into 24 independent nations."
What was predicted, 14 years ago, has come to pass.
Migrants into Germany from the Middle and Near East reached 1 million in 2015. EU bribes to the Turks to keep Muslim migrants from crossing over to the Greek islands, thence into the Balkans and Central Europe, are unlikely to stop the flood.
My prediction that European "patriots will recapture control of their national destinies," looks even more probable today.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who almost lost a referendum on Scottish secession, is demanding a return of British sovereignty from the EU sufficient to satisfy his countrymen, who have been promised a vote on whether to abandon the European Union altogether.
Marine Le Pen's anti-EU National Front ran first in the first round of the 2015 French elections. Many Europeans believe she will make it into the final round of the next presidential election in 2017.
Anti-immigrant, right-wing parties are making strides all across Europe, as the EU is bedeviled by a host of crises.
Europe's open borders that facilitate free trade also assure freedom of travel to homegrown terrorists.
Mass migration into the EU is causing member nations to put up checkpoints and close borders. The Schengen Agreement on the free movement of goods and people is being ignored or openly violated.
The economic and cultural clash between a rich northern Europe and a less affluent south — Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal — manifest in the bad blood between Athens and Berlin, endures.
Northern Europeans grow weary of repeated bailouts of a south that chafes at constant northern demands for greater austerity.
Then there is the surge of sub-nationalism, as in Scotland, Catalonia, Flanders, and Veneto, where peoples seek to disconnect from distant capitals that no longer speak for them, and reconnect with languages, traditions and cultures that give more meaning to their lives than the economics-uber-alles ideology of Frau Angela Merkel.
Moreover, the migrants entering Europe, predominantly Islamic and Third World, are not assimilating as did the European and largely Christian immigrants to America of a century ago. The enclaves of Asians in Britain, Africans and Arabs around Paris, and Turks in and around Berlin seem to be British, French and German in name only. And some of their children are now heeding the call to jihad against the Crusaders invading Muslim lands.
The movement toward deeper European integration appears to have halted, and gone into reverse, as the EU seems to be unraveling along ideological, national, tribal and historic lines.
If these trends continue, and they seem to have accelerated in 2015, the idea of a United States of Europe dies, and with it the EU.
And this raises a question about the most successful economic and political union in history — the USA.
How does an increasingly multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural United States avoid the fate to which Europe appears to be headed, when there is no identifiable racial or ethnic majority here in 2042?
Are our own political and racial divisions disappearing, or do they, too, seem to be deepening?
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)
- Category: Columns
- Hits: 673