If Remainers think it's all sweetness and light in the EU they had better think again.

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readSep 21, 2023

Hardly a day seems to go by without news of more dis-harmony and conflict within the EU. Given that little of this is ever reported by the BBC, I felt readers might wish to know what is going on over on the continent.

This is just a few examples of the fragmentation happening in the EU today.

What follows are just a few examples but each of them is telling in their own way. For good measure, I am also throwing in an example of the way in which Germany and France have held talks about carving up Europe. (This is a topic I will be coming back to, given Sir Keir Starmer’s alleged flirtation with ‘Associate Membership’

1. Romania and Bulgaria vs Austria

On Thursday last week, Romania’s Prime Minister Ion-Marcel Ciolacu told Austrian newspaper Der Standard that his country will be taking Austria to the EU’s court over its decision to block its accession to the Schengen Zone.

The Netherlands has also opposed both Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen, despite this being agreed by the EU Commission and being strongly advocated by the EU Parliament.

2. Germany and France vs Italy

Last week the socialist government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Germany tore up its agreement to take re-allocations of illegal migrants from Italy. Given the dramatic surge in illegal immigration to Italian shores in the last week, this did not go down well in Rome.

3. Poland, Hungary and Slovakia vs. EU Commission and Ukraine

On Friday last week the governments of Poland, Hungary and Slovakia announced they were taking unilateral action — against EU policy — to ban all imports of various foodstuffs from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government (a potential candidate country for EU membership) promptly announced it would be taking legal action. In addition, they questioned just who was running the EU.

4. Migrants — Italy, Greece, Spain versus everyone else

In a bizarre twist in the years of the EU Commission’s unsuccessful attempts to get any EU countries to agree on an immigration policy, on Sunday Ursula von der Leyen accompanied Italian ‘far-right’ Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to the island of Lampedusa.

There she stopped short of endorsing Ms Meloni’s calls for an EU naval blockade of North Africa.

Instead, she unveiled a ’10-point plan’ to address the issue. It should be remembered that before the Italian elections, many articles appeared, denigrating the ‘Brothers of Italy’ party which is led by Giorgia Meloni. Now Ursula von der Leyen seems to be her new best friend.

5. Germany and France make plans for a “4-Speed Europe”

Finally, at today’s Summit meeting of EU leaders Germany and France will be tabling a report which they commissioned, outlining plans for a ‘4-Speed Europe’.

This will consist of

  1. An ‘Inner Circle
  2. The EU27
  3. Associate members
  4. The European Political Community — a loose association of countries that meet twice a year to talk

This is unlikely to go down well with all those countries excluded from the ‘Inner Circle’. I have seen the 50-page report and will be explaining these plans to readers in more detail, given the speculation that Sir Keir Starmer is considering Associate Membership for the United Kingdom should he become Prime Minister.

I have only cited a few of the latest examples out of the great many of these now afflicting the European Union. There are many more. In fact, it is getting harder to find examples of anything on which the EU as a whole is agreed.

This has long been the case but the differences between member states appear to be becoming more accentuated. Despite this, the EU Commission continues to put out its propaganda about the EU standing together and being ‘united’.

It is not, never has been, and is unlikely to become so in future.

Sources: EU Commission | EU27 government websites

--

--

Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.