The EU’s Efforts to Silence Hungary Show How NATO Objectives Continue to Eclipse Any Pretense of European Democracy

Hungary, long a thorn in Brussels’ side with its “illiberal” ways, is now forcing the EU to show its true colors and openly declare its subservience to the US and NATO.

In the struggle to send billions more to Ukraine, the EU is refusing to allow Hungary or any pretense of rules or democracy stand it the way. Despite Hungary blocking the package, which requires unanimous support among the bloc nations, the EU plans to send it anyway “using various cumbersome alternative mechanisms that don’t require Hungary’s approval.”

Payoffs are going to Hungary in the short term while discussions to change EU voting rules are being reimagined for the long haul, showing how the treaties that have governed the bloc and at least kept up the appearance of democracy are being thrown out in order to continue the all-but-lost war against Russia.

In December, all EU states except Hungary agreed to start accession talks with Ukraine. So what did the EU do? After reportedly grilling Orban for “a few hours” over his opposition, it had him leave the room when the vote was taken. That allowed the 26 EU leaders who remained to approve the measure, which again requires unanimity. The move, which was reportedly spearheaded by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, was highly unusual, as POLITICO EU describes:

The idea that a EU leader had to leave the room to be unanimous is highly unusual. In fact, EU officials and diplomats at the summit on Thursday could not say if Scholz’s move had ever been used before.

Was it just the interrogation conducted by other member state officials and Scholz’s workaround that found a path forward or did the billions of euros the EU released to Hungary in the days before the discussions play a part?

In a move that’s proving increasingly ironic, the EU executive branch more than a year ago suspended roughly 7.5 billion euros in funding to Hungary over concerns about democratic backsliding and the mismanagement of funds. Now, as the EU backslides democratically and continues to shovel money into the Ukraine bottomless pit, it is using those funds withheld from Hungary to pressure it into Ukraine support.

EU countries agreed to lower the suspension to 6.3 billion euros of the original 7.5. They also approved Hungary’s spending plan for its pandemic recovery funds — 5.8 billion euros in grants that have similarly been withheld for more than 18 months. The move was made despite Hungary not meeting the “rule of law” requirements from Brussels. There are still judicial independence and anti-corruption strings attached, but the open secret is that it has more to do with Ukraine support than any of those stated concerns.

While the EU found a one-time workaround on Ukraine’s accession talks, any serious process of joining the bloc would take years, and Orban singalled he will have many more opportunities to block it. Hungary continued to oppose the more than 50 billion in aid to Ukraine.  The issue will be revisited at an emergency summit on Feb 1. Orban wants funding for Kyiv to come from outside the EU budget. A further 17.6 billion euros to Hungary remains frozen, a portion or all of which might convince Orban to leave the room again when EU leaders reconvene in February to discuss Ukraine aid.

Watching all this approvingly is Washington.

The EU liberalization efforts – however misguided – are already taking a back seat to NATO and the EU is becoming even more undemocratic in an effort to further NATO goals. As Wolfgang Streeck foresaw back in 2022:

Plans of the EU Parliament and the Commission to cut financial assistance to countries like Poland or Hungary for deficiencies in the “rule of law” will become increasingly obsolete as cultural con­flicts between “liberal” and “illiberal” democracy will be eclipsed by the geostrategic objectives of NATO and the United States…Efforts to make financial support for post-Communist countries con­ditional on their adherence to “democratic values” will come to naught as long as the United States is satisfied with their adherence to NATO and their willingness to fight the good pro-Western fight.

Whatever one thinks about EU efforts to force its “values” on all member states by withholding funds, they are now superseded by NATO’s needs. Orban and Brussels now negotiate euros for Ukraine support – not “rule of law” policies. These “rule of law” deficiencies are increasingly becoming the norm across Europe as nothing is deemed as important as being sufficiently anti-Russian, pro-Ukraine, and increasing defense budgets.

The problem is that while Hungary ups its defense budget to meet the two percent goal for the first time, it is neither sufficiently anti-Russia nor pro-Ukraine. And as the EU continues to dig itself deeper, the number of Orbans is likely to grow, so what is the Collective West to do?

The long term goal appears to do away with EU rules that allow Hungary (or any other irritant) to block any measures against Russia. Washington’s cheering this line of thinking is best summed up by two recent pieces – one in the New York Times and the other in the Washington Post.

The Times story describes Hungary as “disruptive,” unanimity is “a design flaw,” Orban is “more unreasonable, more truculent, more self-confident and more destructive” and “playing a constant game of extortion and blackmail.”

As is common for the hit piece genre on Hungary, Orban’s arguments citing the EU’s sunk cost fallacy do not merit a mention. Also omitted are Hungary’s national interests, which officials there repeatedly point to; here is a recent summary from foreign minister Péter Szijjártó speaking at the EU-Central Asia Economic Forum. From Daily News Hungary:

He told the discussion focusing on ways to improve the regional business climate that the world had regrettably started moving towards the formation of blocs. “This is the worst possible news” for central Europe, he said, arguing that history had shown that the region always lost out on conflicts between East and West.

When Hungary argues in favour of connectivity and “civilised” cooperation between East and West, it is not because the country is anybody’s friend or spy but because “we are aware of our own national interests and we are aware of our own national experience,” he added.

The Times notes that “if Europe cannot solve its Orban problem” it risks “paralysis and fragmentation.” Paralysis and fragmentation are arguably much-needed for Europe at this time rather than marching in lockstep and digging itself into a deeper hole.

Nevertheless, the digging continues, which Washington Post columnist Lee Hockstader (not paywalled) cheers on and argues for the increasingly popular solution to simply change the rules of the game in order to ensure nothing gets in the way:

Europe is now doubling down on its delusions by convincing itself that it can carry on as usual with its defining postwar peace project, the European Union, even as its most basic values are subverted and attacked from within.The risk of that particular self-deception has metastasized largely because of one man: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has made no secret of his intent to destroy Western unity on Ukraine.

It matters little that Orban has driven Hungary’s economy into a ditch, or that its economic output and population of 10 million are tiny fractions of the E.U.’s total. What counts is that Hungary, Putin’s Trojan horse in the heart of Europe, has weaponized the E.U.’s rules on Moscow’s behalf…

But it is folly to think the E.U. can carry on tolerating a veto-wielding tyrant within its ranks. Orban has done damage already; he can and will do more. There are options for neutering him. European leaders could block Hungary’s turn in the E.U. presidency or suspend its voting rights altogether within the bloc. But top officials have balked even at threatening to take those actions…

The E.U. has no mechanism to expel a member state. So if changing the rules to contain the damage Orban can do is what it takes to marginalize him, then it’s time for the E.U. to change them. Let 2024 be the year the West removes the scales from its eyes.

And there are forces in the EU increasingly proposing to do just that. Washington’s woman in Berlin, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, took the lead on such efforts at a November meeting of EU foreign policy chiefs in Berlin. At that gathering she laid out a plan to abolish the current system which assigns each of the 27 countries a commissioner and amending the “unanimity” rule which allows a single member country the ability to veto EU initiatives.

The unanimity rule was originally put in place to ensure smaller countries have a voice, but the design is receiving heavy criticism from Atlanticists now that it is blocking NATO goals.

Lost in the uproar over Orban’s opposition is that the rule is actually functioning as designed. Hungary, a small country, is opposed to the bloc’s continued belligerence towards Russia and is able to throw a small wrench in the war gears. Ideally, it would also present a moment for reflection, but that seems out of the question at the moment.

What also goes unmentioned in the countless articles railing against Orban and Hungary is that not only Hungarians, but European citizens as a whole, increasingly agree with him. According to the latest Eurobarometer survey in August total support for providing Ukraine with military funding has fallen from 67 percent at the outset of the war to 48 percent. That drop has occurred despite a near-total media blackout of criticism of the war – both on the battlefields in Ukraine and the EU’s economic warfare – against Russia.

Notably, Baerbock’s plan does not propose doing away with unanimity across the board but only in “highly sensitive” areas like foreign policy. The effort to end unanimity in foreign policy would, in the eyes of the Baerbocks, deal with this long term problem of any public opposition.

Nevermind that any move to end unanimity would require unanimity, making it a gambit. Not to be deterred, Baerbock says, “We need to take brave, courageous decisions.”

That is likely an argument that it is time to bend the rules in order to change the rules, which is always a possibility, as Brookings lays out here:

France and Germany want to widen the fields where qualified majority voting applies in the council to overcome existing deadlocks, such as on certain areas of common foreign and security policy and taxation. To this end, they advocate the use of the so-called “passerelle clauses” that permit avoiding unanimity in some fields as well as mechanisms of “constructive abstention.” They also have not ruled out “enhanced cooperation” among groups of countries, a procedure where a minimum of nine EU member states are allowed to establish advanced integration or cooperation in an area within EU structures but without the other members being involved.

What unforeseen consequences could this have? Would it not only create more friction and more Orbans over the long haul? How would pesky voters react to the tearing down of the EU democratic window dressing and an open declaration that the EU foreign policy is decided from NATO headquarters in Brussels?


There is also the need, from the NATO perspective, to deal with Orban in the near term, and that has the Orban government increasingly facing off against Washington. The US ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, has abandoned all diplomatic protocol and is in open opposition to the Orban government.

The US and EU have failed to remove Orban at the ballot box as his governing Fidesz party last year won its fourth general election in a row.The Orban government, having seen what that can mean in other countries, is taking steps to limit any outside efforts to force a change in government.

A bill in Hungary aims to “set up an authority to explore and monitor risks of political interference and recommend changes in regulations. It would also punish banned foreign financing for parties or groups running for election with up to three years in prison.”

The proposed law comes on the heels of the US turning up the pressure dial on the Orban government over its reluctance to toe the line against Russia. That campaign includes everything from slick social media videos and billboards to Hungary’s exclusion from a democracy summit and sanctions on the Russian-controlled International Investment Bank in Budapest. The US termination of its double tax treaty with Hungary just went into effect. In force since 1979, the US said it was ending the agreement due to Budapest’s opposition to a global minimum tax, but even when Hungary eventually got on board with that plan, Washington ended the treaty nonetheless.

US-connected NGOs are reportedly big funders of the political opposition against Orban, which helps explains why the US Department of State is not a fan of the proposed crackdown on foreign financing, releasing a statement that reads in part:

The “Sovereign Defense Authority” could be used to subject Hungarian citizens, businesses, and organizations to intrusive investigations with no judicial oversight, even if they have had no contact with or support from a foreign government or foreign entity. This new law is inconsistent with our shared values of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.

And with that, the story comes full circle back to the EU-blocked funds for Hungary over “rule of law” violations. Presumably a component of the “rules-based international order,” “rule of law” nowadays simply means to do as NATO commands.

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  1. Altandmain

    In the long run, this is going to tear the EU apart.

    Bullying Hungary might yield short term gains, but it is going to turn not just Hungarians, but more and more citizens throughout the EU against the institution. For all intents and purposes, as the article notes, the EU has become an authoritarian agency that does the bidding of the neoconservatives. Democracy doesn’t exist.

    Note the part about how Orban is actually representative of the public opinion of the European nations as a whole. They don’t want to spend more money on Ukraine, despite the fact that the media has been trying overwhelmingly to manipulate public opinion.

    In the long run, I can see a new wave of populist and other government changes. Keep in mind that while all of this is happening, Europe is de-industrializing due to the loss of cheaper energy and natural resources from Russia as a result of their own sanctions. This is going to drive job loss, lower living standards, and ultimately, loss of geopolitical power. This will create a legitimacy crisis and drive government changes.

    As the living standards fall and the legitimacy of the neoliberal /neoconservative European Establishment collapses, I expect that they will resort to more desperate and authoritarian measures in a bid to stay in power.

    Ultimately, I could see only two options. Either the people remove the plutocracy or the Europeans become banana republics, with the living standards of middle income or even developing nations.

    1. spud

      once you free trade, your sovereignty and ability to govern is over. you are now governed by the market, the markets are controlled by corporations and billionaires. they are the ones who wrote the rules, and government becomes merely a servant.

      that is the mis-understanding of many that think its government that that has created this mess, the rules based order, and its not free trade.

      they are completely stymied as to why government won’t fix this mess, and they blame government officials.

      but Musk plainly showed the world that markets are the true rulers, and government is merely the servants of the billionaires when he said we will coup anyone.

      Musk did not mean him, he meant the markets will tell their servants, that is government, to do as they are told.

      the E.U. is a free trade zone where governments are the servants of the markets, that is corporations and billionaires.

      those rules were put there by their servants, and their servants will now change the rules based order, because under free trade, its what the true rulers want.

      so go ahead and vote thinking things will change. any politician that thinks they can change runs right smack into the true rulers, and are put into their place pronto, look what the true rulers are doing to trump.

      the servants are pulling all of the plugs possible, and then some.

      getting rid of free trade will be the first thing that needs to be done, to get that genie back into the bottle, it might not be doable anymore in the west.

      1. Alan Roxdale

        once you free trade, your sovereignty and ability to govern is over. you are now governed by the market, the markets are controlled by corporations and billionaires. they are the ones who wrote the rules, and government becomes merely a servant.

        Ridiculous claptrap. As if reasonable checks and balances were impossible. Post-sovietism is not a universalism.

        1. Roger Boyd

          Michael Hudson would tend to disagree, as would the Chinese government. I will go with them and leave behind your ridiculous claptrap. Throwing out the straw man of “post-Sovietism” just goes to undermine your legitimacy even more.

        2. spud

          free trade

          Trade between nations without regulatory barriers such as tariffs or quotas. International trade free from government interference, especially trade free from tariffs or duties on imports. International trade free of government interference.

          The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition • More at Wordnik

          Obama & TPP: Every One That Doeth Evil Hateth the Light
          Posted on April 25, 2015 by William Black | 19 Comments
          By William K. Black
          Quito: April 25, 2015

          “One of the most reprehensible aspects of TPP is that it is (still) being drafted in secret – that it from us, the people – but with corporate lobbyists literally drafting their wish list.”

          “‘Executives of the country’s biggest corporations and their lobbyists already have had significant opportunities not only to read [the TPP text], but to shape its terms,’ the letter reads. ‘The Administration’s 28 trade advisory committees on different aspects of the TPP have a combined 566 members, and 480 of those members, or 85%, are senior corporate executives or industry lobbyists. Many of the advisory committees — including those on chemicals and pharmaceuticals, textiles and clothing, and services and finance — are made up entirely of industry representatives.'”

          ” Adam Smith, who supported freer trade, warned over two centuries ago that when CEOs meet secretly it promptly turns into a conspiracy against the public interest and warned that CEOs use their power to aid their own interests at the expense of shareholders and the public. Smith’s warned that it “ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
          Similarly, the even more conservative Frédéric Bastiat famously warned:
          “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.””

          “Allow these kangaroo non-courts to destroy vital regulations and bankrupt nations at the behest of the worst corporate CEO plunderers – exposing the world to even more frequent and severe financial crises. I have explained these last two points in more detail in the past. These provisions of TPP are so bad that they are depraved – and we have abundant, terrible, and global experience under past, more limited Faux Trade deals with the same provisions to know that the word “depraved” is the appropriate description”

          “we have centuries of experience that uniformly confirms that if the CEOs’ lobbyists draft the trade deal the result is a Faux Trade deal. Fifth, even the proponents of the TPP deal admit that it has the kangaroo court provisions that allow the massive fines that are designed by the lobbyists to destroy effective regulation. (Mankiw’s Maulers studiously refrain from noting this assault on U.S. sovereignty and our ability to adopt vital rules to prevent corporate crimes.) Sixth, Mankiw’s Maulers cannot take the position that once they learn about the rotten Easter Eggs secreted in the draft by the CEOs’ lobbyists they will support the removal of those acts of plunder. Their open letter explicitly (if euphemistically through a reference to “trade promotion authority”) supports “fast tracking” TPP in order to strip Congress of its normal constitutional powers to make amendments to eliminate these acts of plunder by CEOs. ”

          you have had well over three decades to implement “reasonable checks and balances” but you can’t, the market will not let you. and you know that!

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Sounds right to me, spud. It’s all about the billionaires’ return on capital. That the overriding goal of this system, and the Invisible Hand rewarding good hamster wheelers is our paradigm.

        We need a new paradigm.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          Or the re-examination of older paradigms which existed before corporate globalonial front-governments achieved the underhanded imposition of Forcey FreeTrade agreements, organizations, etc.

        2. spud

          yes we do. we can never recover let alone reform, as long as free trade which is a billionaire minting machine remains in place.

          getting rid of free trade is simply the first step, in a long long line of steps that need to be made.

          Free Trade and Unrestricted Capital Flow: How Billionaires Get Rich and Destroy the Rest of Us

          The bottom line is simple: A u201cfree tradeu201d system is a regime in which capital always wins, everywhere.

          Gaius Publius ,

          March 27, 2013

          “My point is about unrestricted free trade and capital flow in general and why understanding both is crucial to understanding:

          There’s a straight line between “free-trade” — a prime tenet of both right-wing Milton Friedman thinking and left-wing Bill Clinton–Robert Rubin neoliberalism — and wealth inequality in America. In fact, if the billionaires didn’t have the one (a global free-trade regime) they couldn’t have the other (your money in their pocket). And the whole global “all your money are belong to us” process has only three moving parts. Read on to see them. Once you “get it,” you’ll get it for a long time.”

          “At its heart, free trade doesn’t mean the ability to trade freely per se; that’s just a byproduct. It means the ability to invest freely without governmental constraint.”

          “Free trade is a primary tool of wealth extraction.”

    2. Revenant

      We did warn you, from our septic island. And then we left. Ironically, the “variable geometry” Europe being proposed to route around Hungary was a large part of what Cameron went to beg from Brussels and got humiliated. Cue Nigel Farage, UKIP, a referendum and then Brexit.

      Also ironically, having escaped an EU foreign policy, we are busy driving the Gadarene swine over the cliff of Ukraine as that project’s biggest cheerleader.

      Part of me wonders if this is not a brilliantly Machiavellian MI6 plan – the kind of thing paranoid Iranians credit Britain with pulling off – where we have encouraged the EU to pursue its destiny (austerity, net zero, Project Ukraine) while reserving the freedom to swerve at the last minute and save ourselves as bureaucratic inertia and the impossibility of EU decusion making carries Germany and the rest off the cliff. :-)

      The current EU is certainly keeping the Americans in, the Germans down and the Russians out, which has been post WW2 UK policy. And what have we had to spend? A few tanks and missiles, which are apparently rubbish, some sheepdipped soldiers and a few billions. And we’ve received a handsome influx of white Christian educated PMC Ukrainian refugees (our friends have a bank manager and an IT worker and their two children in their annexe)….

        1. Revenant

          You credit me with too little sense of humour….

          I think the most likely explanation for UK behaviour is our political class’s desperately needy Atlanticism. America says “Heel!” and we comply.

          But it is still amusing to wonder if there is a long game here where the actions are the same but the motivation is different, in an extension of the way that our original WW2 conversion to Atlanticism was a tactic to keep the most favourable world order for us that we could after losing primacy ourselves. In the joke about the two runners and the bear, the punchline is that one of them doesn’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than his companion: perhaps, in encouraging the EU into the game of Grandmother’s footsteps with Russia, the UK figured out that it would be faster than Brussels to pivot away? We don’t have a large export trade to Russia or China and we have a diversified energy supply. Shortages of commodities and intermediate goods affect us the same as the rest of the West and raise prices generally. US tech companies will lose margin restoring production but there are no UK tech companies except ARM so that’s not much of an issue. We have a large defence sector. The biggest economic pain is in services (law, finance, education).

          It wouldn’t be my choice of a future but perhaps some cold patrician type is betting that our terms of trade with the EU, our biggest trading partner, can only improve with the consequences of the war in the Ukraine, and that is why we are so rabidly for it?

          But there’s probably nothing but lapdogs all the way down….

    3. Feral Finster

      The problem is that among european political classes, questioning the EU is a faux pas on a level with farting audibly in church. You Just Don’t Do That, and, if they are nothing else, europeans are all about The Done Thing.

      1. Altandmain

        Not unlike the McCarthyist era or the Inquisition, there is a culture of suppressing dissent.

        That’s not good and will do more damage to Europe in the long run. Questioning the culture and institutions are necessary to fix the underlying problems. This will prevent the policy reforms needed and ultimately, might lead to a breakup of the EU not unlike the USSR.

        It’s ironic that the European Union lectures China and Russia on democracy. They have adopted the worst parts of Maoist ideology and the USSR forcing people to agree.

  2. The Rev Kev

    As I understand it, since they cannot force Hungary to send all those billions to the sinking ship of the Ukraine, that they will create what will be in essence Eurobonds. And the other EU countries would act as guarantors of the money that they give and I think that Japan did that recently with money sent to the Ukraine. But as we say here, a loan is as good as a gift. So they can kiss that money goodbye.

    The funny thing is that the big EU countries were totally opposed to the idea of EuroBonds when Greece was in trouble. Hungary may figure that they only have to hold the line until the Ukraine collapses and it won’t be so much ‘loans’ going to what is left of the Ukraine but humanitarian aid instead. The funny thing is that while all the NATO countries have emptied their armouries to send to the Ukraine that Hungary kept theirs which may mean that they are one of the best equipped militaries in NATO.

    People like Annalena Baerbock may want to change the rules so that only majority votes are needed for important decisions but you wonder how many smaller EU nations will sign up for that sort of death pact. One can only imagine what the EU would be like if the Ukraine were allowed to join over other candidate countries that have been waiting years to do so. Pretty sure that whenever a Ukraininian made a speech and no matter what the topic was, that they would always end it with the phrase ‘Ruthenia delenda est!’

    1. spud

      those governments will sign up for that death pact, they are merely servants under free trade, the true rulers want that pact no matter what the results will be in the long run. if they do not get ukraines farming wealth, and russias wealth, the jig is up for them.

      so a death pact it is.

    2. Feral Finster

      You’re joking, right? Those smaller countries will be given their orders in no uncertain terms, with enough carrot so they can claim a “win” and enough stick that they have no choice.

      And yes, and EU member Ukraine will do nothing other than agitate for more war. This is entirely intentional.

  3. panurge

    Once I read somewhere (probably here or Moon of Alabama) something that could come out straight from a political fiction novel.

    It stated that eventually Hungary would break ranks with EU&NATO shortly before or after the war ending with Russia reaching the Ukraine west side.

    Then Hungary would grant safe passage to – or openly side with – Russia, letting the latter reach Serbia to

    1) Brake Serbia encirclement.
    2) Drive a wedge at the heart of Europe.

    It could be interesting… like the times we are living.

    1. voislav

      Pure fiction. Serbia is neither encircled or at the hearth of Europe. Both Serbia and Hungary still receive Russian gas through TurkStream via Bulgaria. Air Serbia maintains regular flight to Moscow and other Russian cities. In the past year Serbian military acquired both Pantsir anti-aircraft systems from Russia and FK-3 from China.

      People have these fantasies that Russia winning would allow Serbia to regain Kosovo, but the reality is that 80% of the population of Kosovo does not want to be a part of Serbia. So unless Serbia is willing to go full Gaza it cannot regain control beyond Serb-majority northern areas.

      1. hk

        To be fair, I don’t know if anyone is gunning for the whole of Kosovo (but I have no info directly from the region, so who knows?)

        The real problem, as I see it, is that EU/NATO-crats are going to be whining about “territorial integrity if Kosovo” and try to block the Serbs resuming sovereignty over the North–I think I’ve heard versions of this already. Certainly, an instance of bizarro universe, but it’s entirely in character for them.

      2. Roger Boyd

        Yeah right, that’s why the West just tried another colour revolution in Serbia. When (not if) the EU collapses under the dead weight of de-industrializing Germany, depopulating Italy, falling US hegemony, and Russian victory in Ukraine the Balkans may very well move back toward Russia. It would be natural for Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia and Bulgaria to do so – probably also Republica Sprska; undoing some of the Western destruction of the 1990s.

        No one foresaw the collapse of the Soviet Union…

  4. timbers

    My understanding is Hungary still has as functioning sovereign currency. As Greece demonstrated, without a sovereign currency, you are but a slave to the EU bureaucrats. Lets hope Hungary leaves the EU in time. Action on her part in terms of leaving the EU is already overdue. Hurry up, Hungary, before it’s too late.

    1. voislav

      This would be a mistake . Hungary outside EU would be powerless to influence decision that directly affect its economy and national security. Inside EU it suffers some inconveniences like withholding of EU funds, but it gives it a seat at the negotiating table and most importantly, veto power.

      1. Hastalavictoria

        There is if course in the long term the BRICS option open, I guess, theoretically to all EU members.If one or two of the peripheral members i.e Hungary,Greece etc spun off could start a stampede!

      2. timbers

        This would be a mistake . Hungary outside EU would be powerless to influence decision that directly affect its economy and national security.

        Or, Hungary inside the EU is powerless to stop the EU in harming Hungary’s economy and national security – but not so outside of the EU.

        Why do believe the EU wants to help Hungary’s economy and national security, instead of harm both? Seems to me recent EU action speak loudly that the EU would to harm not help Hungary.

        As I implied in original post, the greatest danger to Hungary’s economy and security is: The EU and staying in the EU.

        Outside the EU, Hungary is free. To among other things, benefit it’s own economy and security.

        1. voislav

          Hungary is surrounded by EU. Most of Hungarian trade is with EU because naturally most of your trade tends to be with your neighbors. Hungary has no choice but to trade with EU, in fact it’s highly beneficial to do so. Hungary cannot realign its trade to let’s say BRICS or wider world market, it’s economically unfeasible.

          If most of your trade is with EU it’s much better to be in EU, so you cannot be hurt by trade restrictions and you get to veto any policies you find detrimental to your national interest. Otherwise you’d be in the same position as for example Serbia, which is forced to impose EU policies on itself without having any input into decision-making.

          So yes, Hungary takes occasional piss from EU bureaucracy and gets some EU funds withheld. But overall, Hungary is a net-beneficiary of EU (gets more money than it puts in) and hugely benefits from unencumbered trade within EU. This is why you’ll never hear Orban threaten to leave EU, not only would it be economically disastrous, but he knows that he’d lose political leverage not only inside EU, but more broadly with Russia and China.

          1. timbers

            “Hungary has no choice but to trade with EU…”

            As a sovereign nation outside of the EU, Hungary has the right to trade with any nation it wishes including the EU. So not sure what your point is. That trade will be more costly with the EU being a non member? Yes it will. Switzerland has done fine being a non EU nation, and is actually truly surround completely by the EU. So it can be done.

            My estimation of Hungary preserving her sovereignty is probably of greater value than yours regarding the potential cost of leaving the EU, or your estimation of the globalist “influence” she might or might not have with the West or East by staying in the EU.

            One factor the could blow up my estimation, is if the EU decides to punish Hungary with illegal sanctions and blocking her present trade routes or even military intervention, should Hungary decide to leave. Which is a possibility to be sure.

        1. spud

          that money has strings attached. you are no longer sovereign, you will do as you are told.

          once you understand that, then you will see its not free money.

  5. John Beech

    First, NATO is not supposed to be a ‘democratic’ institution. It’s charged with a different mission because it’s a military organization. So start with that.

    Second, nobody ‘wants’ to pay for Ukraine. So the question is, if they fall, who is next? Romania with 70% Russian speakers? Or maybe it’ll be Hungary, instead.

    Third, NATO soldiers on because we’ve seen this playbook. Question is, what’s next?

    1. Not Bob

      Cute, but I think you’ll find the readers around here have a few more brain cells than you’re giving them credit here. But given you’ve already established your NATO affiliation let’s check your scorecard… You missed a chance to explicitly mention the red menace, and comparing Putin to Hitler is the typical extension of your final point. We’ve beat them before and we’ll do it again, I believe the chorus goes. Bonus points for trying to resurrect domino theory though.

      I think there’s something in the comments policy about making s**t up, but I don’t think it technically applies to these kinds of psyop fever dreams. I hope other readers have as much fun parsing your talking points as I have.

    2. Ovi Rus

      I’m Romanian and more than 90% of us don’t speak Russian Where did you get that 70% nonsense?

      1. R.S.

        Probably confusion with Moldova. AFAIK something like 60% there claim they know Russian. But usually as a second language, and they don’t identify as ethnic Russians anyway, so no problem there.

    3. Carolinian

      we’ve seen this playbook

      Always Munich 1938, eh? If the neocons didn’t have WW2 they would have to invent it.

      No offense–maybe that’s not what you meant.

      But all evidence in our current situation suggests that we and the EU, not Russia, are the expansionist party if not actually run by an Adolf equivalent. When asked about this, Putin says that Russia has plenty of territory already. And if he really wanted to re-absorb Ukraine it would have been a lot easier back in 2008. What really seems to be happening is that the world is running out of patience with America’s late in the day imperial fantasies and that of our Europoodles.

      1. Carolinian

        Meant 2014 Maidan time–morning senior moment. Don’t wanna be like Biden.

        Back then Putin seemed very reluctant to get involved in Ukraine despite constant NYT claims of a Russian invasion.

    4. Kouros

      Johnny, hold your horses.

      While it is true that Romanian vocabulary has maybe 15% Slavic origin words (some hundreds of years of cohabitation before Slavs moved south of Danube), Romania doesn’t have 70% Russian speakers. Probably not even 7%. It has 7% Hungarian speakers, which are the biggest ethnic minority in Romania. Republic of Moldova, which was under Russian control for 105+2+47 years, has only 30% Russian ethnics – likely more speak Russian than that, especially in the older generations.

  6. ciroc

    All may not be as it seems; does the EU really want more Ukrainian aid? If not, then Hungary’s obstruction is the best excuse for refusing to help while saving face.

    1. Conor Gallagher Post author

      A strong possibility. An added bonus of scapegoating Hungary is it could provide cover to change EU foreign policy unanimity rules for the next fight against China, Russia (again), or whoever else NATO chooses.

      1. cosmiccretin


        And I note how almost daily the correspondence between the euro-neocons and their American models grows ever-closer, whilst the divergence between them and those they farcically purport to “serve” (aka as their constituents) grows ever wider.

    2. Paris

      The Europeans have already said that if the US doesn’t come with real money the EU can’t support the Ukraine. I think it’s fair, it’s an American war. So in the end the Hungary thing is all a theater.

  7. ilsm

    IIRC in 1945 the Red Army blasted Budapest in a similar way as Berlin!

    A point made in the article: Hungary is not lined with the west, and must tread softly wrt Russian federation.

    Hungary is showing far more rationality, and backbone than the US.

    The US’ depots are not empty. I do not know the figures (classified) but I assume the US has not released more than a few nits of the stocks accumulated to fight 2.5 (US NDAA quietly authorizes semi mobilization for several wars) big wars.

    Given a year or two and enough transport US could overrun Ukraine…… but the line on tactical nukes would be crossed as was expected in the NATO cold war ‘games’.

    Would US do that for Hungary, like in 1956?

    1. hk

      The same logic probably applies to the rest of NATO: we may not know how much munitions US actually has, but how much of it would we spend to defend Poland, Germany, or France? Hungary seems to be getting that US won’t spend much. Germany, who probably are nearing the bottom of their munitions stockpile, seems to be thinking that if they show sufficient loyalty (or really blow up Ukrainian conflict), they can drag us in. Poland seems ambivalent. None of them (except maybe Poland in the long term) seems to be planning on building up autonomous military capabilities….

    2. Roger Boyd

      And what exactly do you think Russia would do to the staging areas, the supply aircraft, the supply ships … Russia invaded Ukraine to pre-empt a Ukrainian invasion of the Donbass. They will not sit idly by like Iraq while the US builds up its invasion forces. Germany triggered WW1 because of the Russian mobilization, this would be exactly the same thing.

    3. Kilgore Trout

      Given the performance of NATO and US weapons systems so far in Ukraine, I think it is quite unlikely that the US would prevail in Ukraine if it went in full throttle. Scott Ritter for one, argues the US military is today just a shell of its 1990’s self. The cupboard is bare, in terms of troop strength, and US weapons systems have clearly been shown to be inferior to Russia’s. So, the risk after any escalation of this sort by the US, and the likelihood of a crushing defeat after doing so, would be the temptation to “go nuculear” using tactical nukes. That’s the last resort of our sociopathic Neo-con foreign policy elite, who still can’t treat either Russia or the nuclear genie with the seriousness both deserve and require. Given the death and destruction they’ve sown since the Wolfowitz doctrine was promulgated, there seems nothing they won’t do. It’s what those who “construct their own reality” do.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Just as the proxy war in Ukraine makes no strategic sense for Europeans — as we see from the destruction of Nord Stream and the elimination of Russia as a market — signing up the wreckage of Ukraine for the EU makes no strategic sense.

    Further, it is a historical departure. One recalls that the Common Market took its time about accepting Spain and Portugal, waiting for the authoritarian regimes to fall and consequent democratization. As messed up as a mini-state like Latvia was, with roughly a third of its population rendered stateless by its government, even Latvia isn’t the mess that Ukraine is.

    How is one supposed to support taking in a failed state, which has lost a quarter of its land, up to 300,000 soldiers slaughtered, an elite noted for plundering the country, and whiffy Nazi-extremist influence? Even Romania wasn’t that screwed up when it acceded to the EU.

    I suspect that it is dawning on the European public that it is being sold a bill of goods. Germany may want to import a whole bunch of Ukrainian warehouse workers, but what benefit is there to other EU members? I am reminded of Annalena Baebock’s so-called feminist foreign politicy. Annalena must want a “project.”

    Meanwhile, as I have written before, Ukraine can get in line after Albania (still waiting…) and Turkey (in limbo).

    1. cosmiccretin

      “I suspect that it is dawning on the European public that it is being sold a bill of goods”.

      Maybe that applies in Italy. Regrettably there’s little or no sign of it doing so here in Finland. Just the opposite: the collective insanity continues unabated.

      At least one of the candidates in the upcoming presidential election has been a fervent advocate of Finnish membership of NATO throughout his political career, and I’ve not heard that any of the others have so much as questioned it. Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is the question of just how militarily subservient to the interests of the USA (and diametrically opposed to its own) Finland is going to be prepared to make itself under whoever becomes its next president – bearing in mind that the present incumbent played a crucial role in taking the country into NATO.

      1. .Tom

        If all major political parties in a given state are roughly aligned their policies of Russia hatred and support for more war in the Ukraine then what DJG wrote can be true at the same time as your observation of Finnish politics.

        I am very curious how populations in Europe really see it. I suspect there is a deep disconnect between the pols and the peeps but I have very little evidence.

        As Aurelien and others have noted here, over the last 10 or more years we have entered a phase of politics in which there is general alignment among the political elites on austerity, markers first, protecting banks, etc. Voters don’t agree but they don’t have the option to say so on a ballot except, in some countries, by voting for more-or-less odious nationalists.

        The situation in the UK shows it very well. Labor proudly boasts how right-wing it is and demonstrates it publicly by radically purging the party of all other thought. They promise to be a less corrupt and incompetent version of the current Conservative government while pursuing of the same goals.

        Eventually this disconnect between peeps and pols cannot hold. So I am very interested in any data people have on how political opinion looks on the ground, as opposed to how it looks on TV.

    2. milda2

      “Just as the proxy war in Ukraine makes no strategic sense for Europeans — as we see from the destruction of Nord Stream and the elimination of Russia as a market”

      You are missing the big picture. The world is polarizing. Decoupling is everywhere. Not everyone in the world thinks that China is a better hegemon than the USA. From this perspective everything above makes perfect sense.

      1. tegnost

        has the world not always been polarizing?
        Can you an alternative choice to polarity that would lead to peace?

      2. Kilgore Trout

        Based on US actions since the end of WW2, I think the global south/global majority sees China, with its historical penchant for trade over intimidation, as a preferred “hegemon” if hegemon we must have.

      3. John k

        Yes, it is, driven by the high priced west that is daily becoming less competitive in many spheres, not least trade, military and diplomacy (compare putin’s reception in ME vs Biden’s). Imo this will hurt many, but most of all the west as it cuts itself off from both materials and mfg. countries as big and close as Mexico are acting quite independently of the us.
        Granted many are lured here with the promise of a better life, but I wonder how much longer. Guns, crime, education, crappy healthcare with declining lifespans, massive oligarch corruption of gov, warmongering leaders… imo the trend is not our friend.
        And now we’re goosing a genocide with both hands… and you say we’re the hegemon the world prefers?

    3. Skip Intro

      Well on the plus side, it would really help EU countries with refugee problems, since all those Ukrainian refugees would just become EU citizens and legal residents. I bet an overnight solution like that would be a great career boost for a European politician.

    4. Feral Finster

      Of course the war makes no strategic sense for Europe. Neither the european political classes nor their American Masters care.

  9. chris

    Does anyone have a good reference for the basis behind the claim that Orban has driven Hungary’s economy “into a ditch”? I’ve heard this claimed in various channels but it looks like Hungary has done alright since he took over in 2010. And that’s despite the whole EU and US and UK pressing against Hungary.

      1. John k

        It helps to have access to cheap energy. Germany’s will have to emigrate; some will go to us and turkey, but Hungary is closer, imo experienced German workers might be happier there than the other places.

    1. CA

      ‘Does anyone have a good reference for the basis behind the claim that Orban has driven Hungary’s economy “into a ditch”? ‘

      The Hungarian economy has fared quite well indeed. Hungary has trailed only Poland in growth since 2000 in the European Union. Poland, however, has been heavily funded by NATO for military purposes:

      August 4, 2014

      Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Germany, Poland and Hungary, 2000-2022

      (Indexed to 2000)

      August 4, 2014

      Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Germany, Austria, Poland and Hungary, 2000-2022

      (Indexed to 2000)

  10. Camelotkidd

    A bit off script but has anyone seen Victoria Nuland lately?
    Her hubby has been calling for Trump’s assassination but she seems MIA

  11. Irrational

    Thanks to Conor for an excellent post and to the commentariat. I reckon we are going for the banana republic option.
    One thing I would add is that bonds issued by the EU until now have always been fully backed by the EU budget and thereby implicitly by all Member States together. In legalese they are jointly and severally liable. i.e. even if one country is unable to pay, the others have to step up.
    If they now decide to go ahead with EU bonds guaranteed by the 26, while not necessarily catastrophic from the perspective of the robustness of the guarantee, it does mean that investors going forward would have to look carefully at whether their ” EU bond” was backed by 27, 26 or maybe only 15 of the Member States. I am pretty sure that would have an impact of spreads via liquidity and credit effects. Not smart in my view.
    They could of course decide to go ahead with bilateral national loans in order not to “pollute” the EU credit.
    Let’s see if they think this one through.

  12. Ignacio

    The only caveat I have with this excellent article is a problem that extends to lots of commentaries and writings about the conflict, is the use of the term “pro-Ukrainian” as if the NATO was intervening as a third party in behalf of what they consider a victim of a war between two countries. This is false. Using Ukraine as the punching ball against Russia is, IMO, exactly the opposite. Very anti-Ukrainian as well as anti-Russian. Visibly illustrated by the fact that nobody in the NATO is willing to end the conflict. The fantasy about Ukraine’s EU membership is only another PR operation to make our horrendous leaderships feel good about their very low instincts on display. The best they can manage to achieve is destroy the EU.

    1. John k

      Yes. ‘Pro-Ukraine-Russia war’ would be better.
      But the west is pro so many wars, this is just one more, and not even the most recent… all that’s really left of the Ukraine one is lingering grift and more deaths, mostly Ukranian.

  13. Pinhead

    Unanimity never works for long in any polity, including even the boards of smallish companies.
    Hungary is in the EU because, today and until further notice, the EU is Europe. Most Europeans, probably including Hungarians, can see that Brexit is an ongoing failure not to be imitated.
    There is no evidence that Orban’s policies could indefinitively survive a free media environment, or a free judiciary.

    1. spud

      i just do not see how brexit can be considered a failure. sure, incompetents still rule. but almost the whole E.U. is heading towards greece, not the other way around.

      the U.K. regained its sovereignty and can change. greece cannot.

      1. Anonymous 2

        Serious efforts to calculate the economic losses already caused to the UK by Brexit come up with figures well in excess of £100bn p.a. As a result, the UK government’s finances have taken a hammering. It cannot find the money to fund the NHS properly, to pay for increased defence expenditure, increased spending on pensions as the boomers retire; the educational system is close to collapse, infrastructure is hopelessly out of date. As the boomers retire they will pay less tax. Taxes, already at record highs, are going to have to go up further in the next five years. The future is very bleak.

        I am no advocate of Cameron and his crew, but Johnson, Truss and Sunak make him look in retrospect much better than he deserves.

        The UK has lost power and influence internationally as a result of Brexit. Most of the electorate now regard it as a failure.

        Sovereignty is meaningless if it is it not accompanied by real power to effect change. In the real world the UK is now hugely dependent on a US which frankly is not that bothered about helping it. In the international community the UK is increasingly seen as insular, inward-looking and increasingly irrelevant, as well as something of a laughing-stock.

        1. spud

          ever hear of MMT? if not. naked capitalism is your friend. and being sovereign means the real influence you have, is your own economy.

          and what influence are you speaking about, italy, greece, spain, france, even germany these days have no influence at all.

          if you are in the E.U., you have no power to influence anything, you do as you are told.

          1. Anonymous 2

            Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Germany and the other members are the EU. They do what they collectively agree to do.

            And, yes, I have heard of MMT. A long time ago.

            1. spud

              then you will understand that the U.K.’s finances have not taken a hammering. its the people who rule you that are hammering you.

              if you were still in the E.U., you would be going the greece route. just as germany, italy france etc. are.

    2. Kouros

      Can I please have some of what you are drinking/smoking?!

      “a free media environment, or a free judiciary” with respect to EU

    3. c_heale

      The politicians that run the EU seem to be in race with the UK on how to best destroy an economy.

  14. CA

    “There is no evidence…”

    There would appear to be evidence that policies of the Orban government have been economically successful for Hungary. Only Poland, which has been bolstered by foreign military spending, has fared significantly better in Europe since 2000:

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Germany, Austria, Poland and Hungary, 2000-2022

    (Percent change)

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Germany, Austria, Poland and Hungary, 2000-2022

    (Indexed to 2000)

  15. Jams O'Donnell

    “There is no evidence that Orban’s policies could indefinitively survive a free media environment, or a free judiciary.”

    ‘Free’ in what sense? ‘Free’ from US pressure? ‘Free’ of Neo-Nazi propaganda? ‘Free’ from EU/NATO financial and political skullduggery? There presumably is a reason why Urban wins elections, despite all this lack of ‘freedom’, and it can’t just be down to lack of these or any other ‘freedoms’.

    1. vakond

      Free media is a plus for Orban. As long as his opponents keep making fools of themselves in public he looks more and more the man to back.

  16. Jeff W

    “Nevermind that any move to end unanimity would require unanimity, making it a gambit.”

    Well, if those in favor of the move can get those opposed to “leave the room,” then there’s not much of a problem. (I suppose those in favor could run off to some other location surreptitiously and have their “unanimous” vote there but I don’t want to give them any ideas.)

  17. Aurelien

    Arriving a little late, but all this has little to do with NATO or the US. From the beginning in the early 1950s, the idea of European institutions was an elite concept, designed to avoid another war in Europe by binding European elites together economically and politically. This wasn’t necessarily a bad idea, if you look at European history. A corollary, though, was that this had to remain an elite project: if populist parties or nationalists were ever allowed to take power in any European country, we would risk a rerun of WW2. (This is a travesty of history, but that’s what they thought.) The way to avoid this was supranationalism, constraining legal structures, and the determined suppression and censorship of history and culture, such that national differences would never again be a “source of conflict.”

    This worked OK until the Maastricht Treaty. But it was obvious by then, first that enlargement would at some point create a structure that was simply unmanageable, and second that elites in the post-communist countries simply didn’t share the same assumption as the original members. Moreover, since the original vaguely Christian Democrat ethos of the 1950s, the EU has turned towards hardcore social and economic liberalism, thus further distancing itself from the cultural and social norms of its newer members.

    So something like this was bound to happen. For years, the EU has vilified Russia as the anti-Brussels, the nationalist, patriotic, religious, history and culture-conscious state proud of its traditions which spits on every norm extracted painfully from the Brussels sausage factory. European elites hate Russia with a crystalline purity that few USians can match. So not only was Ukraine built up as the anti-Russia, the invasion itself looked like the opportunity of all time. The invasion would end in chaos and defeat, Putin would fall, and by now the EU would be in Moscow organising everything. Nobody said anything about a real war, or supporting Ukraine militarily, or emptying out European arsenals. But because the idea of the Russians winning, and putting every last dot and comma of European norms in jeopardy, is literally unthinkable, Europe has somehow to find a way of keeping things going. In a couple of months, we will have the European Parliament elections, and all the signs are that you’ve seen nothing yet.

    1. Roger Boyd

      It was also very much a US project, the European elites have generally been compradors since the end of WW2; excepting the French under De Gaulle somewhat (as much show as real independence).

      1. John k

        That he kicked the us out of its various bases in France (including the one with my high school) means France can be a shade more independent than the hapless Germans… and, though distant, the French might be more independent at the next election.

      2. Revenant


        Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU (via the Coal and Steel council that preceded it) was a partner after WW1 in what became Bank of America, lived in the US, implement high finance missions for US capital (stabilisation of Polish and Romanian currencies, reorganisation of Chinese railways), went into partnership with a consigliere of the Wallenbergs (Sweden) and Boëls (Belgium) and was appointed to the British purchasing commission in Washington DC by Churchill in WW2, when he became advisor to Roosevelt. De Gaulle did not trust him.and thought he was an American. After the war the OSS/CIA covertly funded the American Committee for European Union and also subsidised other pro-EU institutions through the Boel family and other cut-outs.

        The EU is in part a US project.

    2. vao

      the idea of European institutions was an elite concept, designed to avoid another war in Europe by binding European elites together economically and politically.
      A corollary, though, was that this had to remain an elite project: if populist parties or nationalists were ever allowed to take power in any European country, we would risk a rerun of WW2.

      This is only half of the story. The second aspect that, for European elites, was as important as avoiding war was to prevent a repetition of what took place just before WWII: the ascent to power of the Popular Front (in Spain, France, Scandinavian countries, and locally in other countries such as Switzerland — yes, even there) and the ensuing reforms (limitation of weekly hours of work, paid vacations, pensions, unemployment support, etc) that were absolutely anathema to them — and that the EU has been progressively, but strenuously, dismantling for decades.

      And what was the commonality between Popular Front and Nazi party? They came to office because of democratic elections — which the EU has been busily configuring, under the technocratically-sounding name of “neo-functionalism”, so that peoples “can make politics but not decide policies, while eurocrats can decide policies without bothering with politics”.

      So no, it is not just about war-mongering nationalist and populist parties; the experience of seeing Popular Fronts implementing policies that went against the interests of the business was as decisive a factor. Remember that Jean Monnet, “father of Europe”, was a banker and businessman linked to the oligarchic “200 familles” that controlled France through their economic and financial clout. That kind of institutional and personal memory counted a lot in the elaboration of the EU.

      1. Feral Finster

        Much of that was driven by the fall of the Soviet bloc. The elites in and out of Europe no longer felt that they had to toss the peons a crumb or two, lest they turn communist.

        1. vao

          In the UK, Thatcher started implementing neo-liberal policies from 1979 onwards. In France, Giscard and Barre started ruthless austerity policies from 1976, which were pursued by the socialists from 1983 onwards, especially thanks to Jacques Delors (the same who, as president of the EU Commission, worked tirelessly to make the Maastricht treaty, the Euro, and the European unified market happen).

          Thus, well before the USSR disappeared, the “socialist alternative” had ceased to be a deterrent. Remember also that the Mont-Pèlerin Society, the craddle of neo-liberalism in Europe, was founded in the 1940s. There was a long-term strategic intent there, and the construction of the neo-functionalist, neo-liberal ECC/EC/EU, plagued by a perpetual “democratic deficit”, was a major piece on the socio-political chessboard, whose moves were informed by the experience of elites with Nazism and the Popular Fronts.

    3. alfred venison

      In a couple of months, we will have the European Parliament elections, and all the signs are that you’ve seen nothing yet.

      Good ! Can’t wait. -a.v.

  18. Tiresias

    It is one more example that the “rules based international order” is a convenient tool for West’s geopolitical goals. It is used to clobber its adversaries and is discarded the moment it becomes inconvenient.

  19. John Jones

    Why the surprise that the EU will do whatever it wants to do when it suits itself?

    We’ve been here before:” The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union; also referred to as TSCG, or more plainly the Fiscal Stability Treaty”.

    This was an intergovernmental agreement between all the euroland states when David Cameron ( in 2012) effectively weilded a veto over the creation of a wider fiscal Union.

    Interestingly, its taken a number of years for those countries signing up to this treaty to understand the loss of sovereignty implied by the Treaty & the subsequent democratic deficit.

    You have to hand it to the European Commission – they seem able to fool most of the people most of the time, when it comes to reducing a nations sovereignty – never let the Treaties get in the way.

    1. spud

      its amazing the left even considered it. after all, the E.U. was a fascist wet dream in the 1930’s, and fascists after their release from prison after the war helped to create it.

      the true left should understand sovereignty, and that economic rights come first always, then social rights can occur.

      not many of the true left anymore.

  20. vidimi

    As someone who has chosen Europe as his home, I am terrified of the future we’re heading in.

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