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Vloemans, Pepijn

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NRC next - Netherlands | 21/05/2014

European elections: China forcing Europe to unite

"Less Europe, more Netherlands" - European election campaign slogans like this one used by the right-wing liberal VVD party are a cause of concern for the liberal daily The fact that the Dutch governing party is calling for a return to a strong nation state is sheer madness in view of China's growing influence on the international stage, the paper warns: "While nationalist parties have complained about how much power Brussels wields, the economic and political centre of the world has shifted inexorably towards Asia. We are witnessing the biggest and fastest power shift in history, which has been accelerated by the financial crisis. ... Seen in that light, wanting a return to the national state isn't liberal, it's suicidal. If we don't want Western values - which the VVD upholds - to be marginalised, we Europeans must unite in a federal Europe. It might not be the best solution - but it's the only viable one. And it is one which the biggest geopolitical shift in the 21st century will force us to adopt sooner or later."

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