Thursday, September 07, 2017

ECJ, top EU court, losing credibility in Central Europe

Czech leader: right to refuse migrants is more important than all EU funds

A year ago, Hungary and Slovakia sued the European Union because of its plans to forcefully Islamize territories of all EU member countries, including Hungary and Slovakia themselves. The decision about the "refugee quotas" was accepted by a majority of the EU countries but the dysfunctional policy is unacceptable for numerous European nations, including V4 – Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary.

Other V4 countries didn't join the lawsuit. On one hand, it looked unfortunate that we wouldn't support our Slovak and Hungarian partners. On the other side, we felt 95% certain that the European Court of Justice would side with the other central EU authorities – so the whole appeal looked like a futile effort. And make no mistake about it, the European Court of Justice did side with the pro-Islamists yesterday. They said that the policy was "proportionate" and a modest majority was enough for the European Union to decide to turn Hungary and Slovakia into another Syria despite the opposition of almost all citizens of these countries.

The reactions of Slovakia and Hungary were strikingly different. Hungary replied that the decision of the court was outrageous and irresponsible, it was a political rape by the pr*cks in Brussels, and the real battle is just beginning. Slovakia responded by saying that it completely respected the verdict although it still disagrees with the quotas.

Up to some moment, the different reactions could be just a matter of different personalities. Slovaks are calmer, Hungarians are closer to the Balkans, you know, and they might mean almost the same thing by these different words. Except that we know it's not the case. Recently, The European Union has worked hard to turn Slovakia – the smallest but central nation within the Visegrád Group, and the only element in the Eurozone-Visegrád intersection – into an obedient puppy, and therefore the "leader of V4", as the likes of Juncker would like to put it.

Slovak prime minister Fico is an opportunist so he is playing a game of satisfying both the Slovak public, which doesn't want a single Muslim to be accepted, and Brussels, which would ideally like to Islamize Slovakia and turn it into another Brussels or whatever is your example of a place where the Islamization has crossed the line of irreversibility. I am not sure it's possible to reconcile these two dramatically different positions for long periods of time. By "respecting" the verdict, Fico's government basically said that it will obey the orders of the European court. But those can repeat "the duty to take the full package [a thousand or more] of the migrants" according to the quotas. How can it agree with Fico's promises made in another sentence that he wouldn't ever take any migrants, or at most a few, and nothing is changing about his policies? His monologue seems self-contradictory to me.

Hey, masses of Muslim migrants, here you have some reasons to avoid the Visegrád Group.

Czechia's reaction to the verdict, in which we didn't participate, was somewhere in between Slovakia's and Hungary's. The prime minister and the foreign minister reiterated that the quota system is dysfunctional, the planned numbers won't be reached, and it makes no sense to work on this plan, write the numbers of migrants, and do other things. Also, the FinMin pointed out that the collaboration and communication with Greece and Italy is basically impossible – there are no adults in the room in these two nations.

To confirm this point, the familiar Greek commissar in the European Commission built on the ECJ decision and repeated some financial threats. Be my guest, cheap Greek aßhole.

The ECJ decision could seemingly strengthen the authority of the Eurosoviet institutions in Brussels – they agree with each other – but it is doing so for a heavy price because it's eroding its own credibility. The authority of the European Court of Justice in countries like V4 is not "ultimate" in any way, it is not a settled fact. The citizens – and even most of the well-known politicians – haven't explicitly agreed with the authority of this European court, especially with far-reaching authorities such as "the right to overwrite the national sovereignty". When politics evolves naturally, it usually takes decades or centuries for the authority of a certain court or network of courts to build up among those who are supposed to take them seriously. And instead of building up, the authority may deteriorate when things aren't going in the right direction.

So the ECJ verdict that our countries obviously don't want to take seriously will erode the credibility of ECJ in other cases in the future, even in cases that are unrelated to the disputes about migration. Because the ECJ is supposed to play a role of a supreme court in a would-be European state, the collapse of the ECJ credibility undermines a counterpart of the "rule of law" in the European would-be state. In other words, some EU officials may gain some apparent short-term obedience or submission by some or all V4 countries but this obedience, submission, or harmony isn't real and this fact will unavoidably become apparent as even stronger disagreements in the long term. The intimidating EU policies are extremely myopic.

You know, I do believe that given a certain interpretation, the written EU laws and treaties do allow the European Union to have approved things like the quotas in particular, despite the disagreement of the countries. But I also think – and find it much more important – that a system where the overwhelmingly dominant will of tens of millions of people on a rather well-defined territory (covering whole countries that have basically existed for centuries) about a question they consider existential may be beaten by decisions by foreign or unelected officials one thousand miles away simply can't peacefully work for too long. The court should have ruled that such decisions must be left to the nations which it also could, by interpreting certain rules about the qualified majority vote in the Lisbon Treaty differently.

Czech president Zeman has reacted by saying that he would prefer to sacrifice all the EU subsidies if we are going to be able to keep our country out of the European Islamization schemes. This is really a widespread and strengthening opinion within Czechia. The EU redistribution and subsidies are distorting the market and corrupting politicians in many ways – after all, Babiš' Stork Nest subsidy fraud is another example showing that much of the money isn't ending at desirable places but in the pockets of those who know how to play this EU game – and it would look just fine to millions of Czechs, and maybe a majority, to get rid of these net inflows which may be equal to 1-2 percent of our GDP (per the same period).

Needless to say, we weren't really offered this deal so even this generous idea of Zeman isn't something that could be considered OK in Brussels. But Brussels could be forced to take it seriously, anyway. We are rather likely to keep on refusing any "Europe's shared" Muslim migrants in the future. What can the EU do? At most, it can impose some economic sanctions, stop EU funding etc. It may do so but it will have consequences – a further alienation of the European Union.

If the inflows stopped or if we were even forced to become net payers to the EU coffers, well, the attractiveness of the European Union would drop significantly. In particular, most of Czechs are rather materially oriented so the financial flows inside Europe may be among the top criteria that decide how much they like our membership in the European Union. The EU's approval rate by Czechs is already lowest in the EU, well below 50% and well below that of the Britons, so eroding it further means to dramatically increase the probability that some important politician will propose the Czechout referendum and its result will almost certainly be Leave.

This could have many consequences. In the Brexit talks, the European Union acts like a classic bully (one of the problems of the Brexit talks is that the U.K., EU are represented by the same man), but with a few more departures like that, it could simply lose the power to behave in this arrogant way. Our departure would have security consequences both for Eastern and Western Europe. It is obvious that as we would get further from Western Europe geopolitically, we could get closer – at least relatively speaking – to other powers, perhaps Russia, China, and maybe the U.S. in new Euro-American confrontations. If I were a Western European politician, I would be very worried about these developments especially because there are many reasons to think that the clout of Western Europe is shrinking quickly.

Concerning the insanities in the EU, there are lots of small things going on, too. Two days ago, some Greek agricultural officials reiterated the plans to claim the global or at least European monopoly over the production of the Greek yogurt. Holy cow. On Monday, I bought 1 kilogram of the Eridanous Greek yogurt in Lidl. Yes, it's another package that has Greek churches without crosses.

I am pretty sure the content is identical to the content of the packages above, they look almost identical. Except that the package above says "Natural Greek yogurt". My package says "Greek-style yogurt" and there's an extra "produced in Germany" above it. This comment surely makes the "Greek" product more attractive and not less attractive, at least in Czechia. ;-)

OK, so when the Greeks want to insanely demand the monopoly over the production of the Greek yogurt, why don't they start with the Germans? In Czechia, Polabské diary is the main company – and perhaps the only company – that is producing a Greek yogurt. For some reasons that may be related to the Greek hysteria, the page I just linked to was erased.

But think twice: What do they really want? Do they want others to use other names of the product, or do they want to ban the usage of the "Greek" recipe for the yogurt everywhere outside Greece? The former is a complete misunderstanding of the "generic names" and the actual value of the "Greek" brand of food products – the value is surely zero in Czechia and if some consumers became fond of the "Greek" adjective, it's the result of the Czech diary's work, not any work by any Greeks. The latter is an insanely ambitious goal that would be equivalent to Pilsner Urquell's demand that no other brewery in the world produces the transparent "pils" kind of beer – which would be really tough because it amounts to 90% of beer produced in the world now! Have you lost your mind, Greek loons? The Greek yogurt know-how is a set of recipes that weren't even invented in Greece (it was Middle East or Central Asia according to Wikipedia) and they have been around – and gradually updated – for thousands of years.

If the folks of Pilsen (or the current Japanese owners of the brewery) were naturally born parasites like the Greeks, we could try to ban "pils" produced outside Pilsen. But would it be fair? The beer wasn't even made by a Czech or a Japanese for the first time. It was made by a Bavarian worker who was hired by the wealthy Pilsner citizens. And he hasn't used just his know-how. He has used some pre-existing know-how of his father and some other Bavarian beer know-how. Pilsen's soft water and our supervision was essential but so were other things. The history of every product like that is complicated and it simply doesn't justify any local monopoly over the product.

Also, Lidl quickly surrendered and promised to "change the packages" of the Greek-style products because of the wave of complaints by the consumers and politicians. It's ironic that the most intense – and, maybe, most consequential – protests against this bastardization of the Greek and Christian heritage came from the secular Czechia. For us Czechs, it was mainly a protest against manipulation, rewriting of the history and the present, and against the self-imposed censorship and surrender to the most intolerant exotic immigrants (it's really the fundamentalist several percent of the Muslims in Europe who couldn't swallow a Greek Orthodox cross on packages – a group that is not too different from those who are preparing the Islamist terrorist attacks right now).

The European Union as a whole as well as numerous EU countries are losing their attachment to the roots of the European civilization, to Christianity, to the freedom of speech, and other key principles and values. Most of us don't want to be a part of this process and this fact is more important for us than a few percent of the GDP – which may really correspond to less than a year-long delay of the economic growth.

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