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Column | What Wilders needs with Europe

On the day that the PVV grew to become the most important within the Netherlands, it was introduced that Geert Wilders’ nice kindred spirit in Europe, Viktor Orbán, was enjoying every kind of trump playing cards in Brussels. The European Fee refuses to pay him greater than 30 billion in European subsidies, as a result of he has destroyed the rule of regulation in Hungary and does little to fight endemic corruption. Now Orbán is taking revenge. In December, European authorities leaders ought to determine whether or not or to not begin accession negotiations with Ukraine. Orbán is now blocking this. He additionally blocks European monetary and navy assist to Ukraine – 50 billion euros over the approaching years, plus joint arms purchases by the EU. And eventually, he has informed the general public that if he doesn’t get his billions, he’ll veto the reappointment of Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Fee subsequent yr.

To show that he means it, he has coated his nation with posters depicting Von der Leyen with Alex Soros – the son of – with the textual content: “Let’s not dance to their tune.”

Anybody questioning what Wilders needs with Europe: this. Precisely this. No extra exits. And no referendums on exits both, however maybe solely on elements of European coverage – ​​such because the biased, non-binding ‘questions’ on European immigration that Orbán sends to Hungarian households. Like different far-right politicians in Europe, Wilders has lengthy since found that international locations which might be alone on this turbulent world the place brute energy dominates are eaten uncooked earlier than breakfast. It’s no coincidence that Norway and Switzerland are in search of higher rapprochement with the EU. And that the ready room is stuffed with candidate international locations. A big block offers safety.

Now nationalists see: you even have extra sovereignty if you happen to keep within the EU

Even the UK has misplaced quite a lot of worldwide affect since Brexit. It completely fails to unfold its wings. The economic system took a beating, immigration has doubled, hedge funds are preying on everybody, commerce agreements with third international locations are worse than the agreements the UK had by the EU. ‘Taking again management‘ is, as former Prime Minister John Main famous, extra relevant to Europe than to the UK.

Up to now, the mantra of nationalists was all the time: you lose sovereignty due to the European Union, so eliminate the European Union. Now they see: you even have extra sovereignty if you happen to keep in it. Then you definately profit from the European inner market and others goodies that Europe provides, similar to a European Commissioner who fines Microsoft on behalf of 27 international locations. Furthermore, you’ll be able to inflate your self enormously by waving vetoes at common intervals. You can too open your doorways to Russians and Chinese language who need a foothold in Europe to weaken it from inside. That means you’ve everybody, let’s put it bluntly, by the balls. Even the Federal Chancellery and the Elysée have to concentrate to you. In brief, EU membership offers you leverage: an instrument to make your self higher than you’d in any other case ever be. A prominence, a sovereignty, that you simply shouldn’t have by yourself.

That is the cynical Europe that individuals like Orbán, Marine le Pen, Matteo Salvini or Herbert Kickl are engaged on. Subsequent weekend they may tune their violins once more, in Florence. Wilders could be very welcome. On Wednesday, Orbán gave a speech in Zurich for the arch-conservative journal World Week. He mentioned he didn’t wish to go away the EU, “as a result of EU selections nonetheless have an effect on you as a European nation.” And that is why he stays, to alter Europe from inside. “Hungary shouldn’t be a black sheep, however the first swallow. We watch for others.”

Voilà, that is what they need with Europe. To all those that don’t desire this: subsequent time, do not assist them get again into energy.

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