There needs to be other power brokers in the EU other than the Germans and French.
Here’s to hoping that the entire project comes crashing down on its head, and to the reasserting of national sovereignty buttressed by free market enterprise and decentralization of concentrated power within each former member state.
NOTE: Of course the Helsingin Sanomat and YLE (all the news fit to wrap fish in) take a negative, even condescending view of The Four.
Resistance to refugees
Helsingin Sanomat writes that a coalition comprised of eastern members of the union is gaining strength, something that could further fracture the EU.
The prime ministers of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are meeting today to establish a common stance in advance of next weekend’s EU summit which will focus on Britain’s membership agreement and refugee policy.
This group, known as the Visagrad Four opposes the resettlement of refugees within the EU and immigration from Muslim countries in general. They also find it difficult to accept Britain’s aim of restricting social benefits for EU migrants. According to Helsingin Sanomat, the refugee policies of the Visagrad Four have been criticized as being hypocritical, as hundreds of thousands of Poles, Czechs, Hungarians and Slovaks have migrated to other EU countries in search of a better life.
The Polish and Hungarian versions of rightist popularism, according to Helsingin Sanomat, seem to work on the principle of “winner takes all”, and do not respect the basic values of the EU. EU involvement in the refugee issue is seen [by these governments] as a threat to their independence. All of these former east bloc nations are fed up with feeling like second-class EU countries that are dictated to by Brussels
However, this paper points out that even if forming a common front, the Visagrad Four are rather weak opposition to the big EU countries, having 64 million inhabitants, fewer than France or Germany.
Even so, Helsingin Sanomat adds that today’s meeting could be only the start of a broader coalition. Poland, it writes, is looking to get the Baltic countries, Bulgaria and Romania onboard, as well.