The European Union against farmers

by Thierry Meyssan

Across the European Union, farmers are rising up against the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which subsidizes them. Governments are responding with adjustment measures, bureaucratic simplifications and a few words of comfort. In reality, they are powerless in the face of a structure designed to apply an ideology that is proving to be insane.

VOLTAIRE NETWORK | PARIS (FRANCE) | 27 FEBRUARY 2024

Three weeks ago, according to the police, farmers with at least 1,000 tractors demonstrated against EU policy in Brussels.

THE DESPAIR AND ANGER OF EUROPE’S FARMERS

Across Western and Central Europe, farmers are demonstrating. First in the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and Romania, now in Spain, France, Germany and Poland. This continent-wide uprising is against the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

When the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community was signed in 1957, the six founding member states (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany) accepted the principle of the free movement of goods. They thus prohibited any national agricultural policy.

To guarantee farmers’ incomes, they set up a common agricultural policy. Depending on the Member State, EU aid is paid to the regions, which then distribute it to farmers or directly to farmers (as in France). This is known as the “First Pillar”. In addition, the European Commission sets production standards to improve the quality of life of rural populations and their products. This is the “Second Pillar”.

The First Pillar has not withstood the enlargement of the European Union, and the transition to global free trade (the EU joined the WTO in 1995), which has led to a disproportionate increase in Community subsidies. The Second Pillar has been pulverized by the Green Pact for Europe (2019), which aims to lower the Earth’s temperature by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

In the absence of a global CAP, there is no solution to the failure of the First Pillar: the Anglo-Saxon principle of global free trade is incompatible with that of European free trade offset by the European CAP. Floor prices for agricultural products, as announced by various national executives, will not save farmers; on the contrary, they will kill them, since we will continue to accept imported products at much lower prices.

As for the Second Pillar, it no longer pursues a political objective, but an ideological one. Indeed, the assertion that global warming is not local, but global, is contradicted by temperature records. The claim that global warming is not due to astronomical factors, but to human activity, does not stand up to scientific debate.

It should be remembered that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is not a scientific academy, but a meeting of senior civil servants (some of whom are scientists, but who still sit as senior civil servants) set up in 1988 on Margaret Thatcher’s initiative to justify the switch from coal to oil, and then to nuclear power [1]. Its conclusions, while approved by governments that can switch to nuclear power, have been violently rejected by scientific cenacles including the prestigious Russian Academy of Sciences [2]. The so-called “scientific consensus” on the subject doesn’t exist any more than the famous “international community” that “sanctions” Russia. By the way, science doesn’t work by consensus, but by trial and error.

Attempts to develop green tourism in rural areas won’t save the farmers. At most, it will enable them to rent rooms on their farms for a few weeks a year. The problem is not to change activity, but to enable farmers to live and feed their population.

Today, farmers in Western and Central Europe are dependent on European subsidies. They are not opposed to the European Union, which enables them to survive, but denounce its contradictions, which are suffocating them. So the question is not to repeal this or that regulation, but to say what kind of European Union we want to build.

The next European Union elections will be held in June. It will be a question of electing the Members of the European Parliament, the only elected members of the Union. As for the Commission, it is not elected at all, but represents the interests of the Union’s sponsors.

THE VARIOUS EUROPEAN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

To understand this strange system, and possibly modify it, let’s look back at its origins: from the inter-war period (1918-1939) to the immediate post-war period (1945-57), there were six competing projects for union.

1- The first was promoted by the Radical Republicans. It aimed to unite states administered by comparable regimes. At the time, the idea was to unite European and Latin American countries governed by Republics.

The definition of republics and monarchies had nothing to do with elections or dynastic succession. King Henri IV of France described himself as a “republican” (1589-1610), insofar as he devoted himself to the common good of his subjects and not to the interests of his nobility. Our reading of republics and monarchies dates back to democracies (government of the People, by the People and for the People). It focuses on the rules by which rulers are appointed, not on what they do. Thus, we regard the contemporary United Kingdom as more democratic than France, and ignore the incredible privileges enjoyed by the British nobility at the expense of its people.

Hipólito Yrigoyen’s Argentina (then the leading economic power in the Americas) would have rubbed shoulders in this union with Aristide Briand’s France (whose Empire stretched across every continent). The fact that these republics were not necessarily contiguous did not shock anyone. On the contrary, it guaranteed that the union would never be transformed into a supra-national structure, but would remain a body for inter-state cooperation.

This project collapsed with the economic crisis of 1929 and the ensuing rise of fascism.

2- The second was a union that would guarantee peace. The French Finance Minister, Louis Loucheur, assured us that if Germany and France united in a single military-industrial complex, they would no longer be able to wage war against each other. [3].

It came to be when, after the Second World War, the Anglo-Saxons decided to rearm Germany. In 1951, former Petain minister Robert Schumann created the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).

The ECSC came to an end in 2002, and was integrated into the European Union by the Treaty of Nice.

3- The third borrowed from the previous two. The Austro-Hungarian Count Richard de Coudenhove-Kalergi drafted it. Its aim was to unite all the continent’s states (except the UK and the USSR) in a “Pan-Europa”. Initially, this would have been a federation comparable to Switzerland, but eventually it would have become a supra-national entity on the model of the USA and the Stalinist USSR (which defended the cultures of ethnic minorities) [4].

This project was more or less carried out with the support of the United States. In 1949, the Council of Europe was created. I write “more or less” because the United Kingdom is a founding member, which was not initially planned. This Council drew up a Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (SCHRFF). It has set up a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to oversee its application.

However, since 2009, many of the Court’s judges have been sponsored, not to say corrupted, by US billionaire George Soros. Gradually, they have interpreted the Convention in such a way as to alter the hierarchy of norms. Today, for example, they consider that the International Treaties on Rescue at Sea (which provide for disembarking shipwrecked persons at the nearest port) must take precedence over the right of migrants to lodge political asylum claims in Europe.

Today, this Court judges in its absence and systematically condemns the Russian Federation, even though it was suspended from the Council of Europe, and then left it.

4- The fourth project, the “New European Order”, was that of the Third Reich from 1941 onwards. The idea was to unite the European continent by dividing its population, by region, according to linguistic criteria. Each regional language, like Breton, would have its own state. By far the most important state would have been the German-speaking one (Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, German-speaking Switzerland, Italian Tyrol, Czechoslovak Sudetenland, Slovak Carpathians, Romanian Banat, etc.). Racial criteria would also have determined which populations would have been “reduced” (Jews, Gypsies and Slavs) and enslaved.

This project was negotiated between Chancellor Adolf Hitler and Duce Benito Mussolini through the intermediary of German jurist Walter Hallstein. It was partially realized during the Second World War, but collapsed with the fall of the Third Reich.

5- The fifth project was formulated in 1946 by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill [5]. Its aim was to reconcile the Franco-German couple and keep the Soviets out. It was in keeping with the vision of the Atlantic Charter (1942), for which the post-war world was to be governed jointly by the United States and the British Empire. What’s more, it was part of his vision of the role of the United Kingdom, supported by the Commonwealth. On the Atlantic side, it develops a privileged relationship with the United States, and on the continental side, it supervises Europe, of which it does not consider itself a member.

Winston Churchill launched several institutions simultaneously. Ultimately, it was this project that came to fruition, first as the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, then as the European Union (EU) in 1993. It borrows elements from three of these earlier projects, but never from the Union of Republics.

The Anglo-Saxons have always controlled the EEC-EU via the European Commission. That’s why it’s not elected, but appointed. Indeed, London appointed Walter Hallstein, Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s former adviser on European affairs, as its first President. In addition, the Commission initially had the legislative power it now shares with the European Parliament. It uses this power to propose standards that the Parliament either approves or rejects. Contrary to popular belief, NATO is not only concerned with defense, but also with the organization of societies. Nato’s offices, originally located in Luxembourg and now next door to the Commission in Brussels, pass on its files, from the width of roads (to allow armoured vehicles to pass) to the composition of chocolate (to make up soldiers’ rations).

6- The sixth project was developed by French President Charles De Gaulle in response to the British project. He intended to build not a federal, but a confederal institution: a “Europe of Nations”. He deplored the Treaty of Rome, but accepted it. In 1963 and 1967, he forbade the United Kingdom to join. He specified that any enlargement would be from Brest to Vladivostok, i.e. without the United Kingdom, but with the Soviet Union. Above all, he fought tooth and nail to ensure that matters affecting national security could only be decided unanimously.

His vision disappeared with him. The British joined the EEC in 1973, only to leave in 2020. Russia was never asked to join, and today the EU is piling up “sanctions” against it. Finally, the forthcoming reform of the Treaties provides for qualified majority voting on issues affecting national security.

AND WHERE DO FARMERS STAND IN ALL THIS?

In view of the preceding analysis of the Common Agricultural Policy, there is nothing in the EU’s structures to presage the current crisis. It is the unspoken British ideology of the EU that is the cause.

By joining the WTO, the European Union has, without saying so, abandoned European free trade for global free trade. In so doing, in line with its DNA, it followed Winston Churchill’s objective. European Union aid will never be able to compensate for foreign competition, which obeys other rules. Little by little, we are moving towards a global specialization of labour. European farmers will have an increasingly limited role to play, until the day when international trade is interrupted and Europeans have to rebuild their agriculture or starve.

Similarly, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Green Pact for Europe is not a response to climate change, but to the ideology built around it. In so doing, the EU is committing itself to Margaret Thatcher’s program. Its ambition is no longer to produce with strong industry and agriculture, but with financial services. In the UK, this policy has resulted in the prosperity of the tiny City of London and the economic collapse of Greater Manchester.

To save Europe’s farmers, it’s not enough to oppose the EU’s supra-national evolution; we must first and foremost rid it of its ideology. This ideology is not fixed by the Treaties, but is the fruit of its history.

Thierry Meyssan