Changing the EU from within

Fact or Fallacy?

It is argued, by some, that it is better for Poland to join the EU and then try to change it from within, than say ‘no’ to the current accession proposals.
But this is a dangerous argument because it makes two big assumptions. Firstly, that the bureaucracy which produces the roles and regulations in Brussels is reasonable flexible and underlyingly democratic. Secondly, that there is sufficient political will amongst the Poles and the Polish government, to mount concerted pressure for change on the new regime after having already accepted the conditions of ‘occupation’!

All the evidence from other European countries points to a rapid decline in the socioeconomic health and diversity of its rural communities, small and medium sized businesses and food and farming infrastructures after joining the EU. The main reasons for this can be traced to the forces operating at the heart of EU policy making. A closer examination here reveals that all the major decisions are taken by the Council of Ministers at the European Commission, an unelected executive body who are also the target of intensive lobbying by multinational, global corporations seeking to profit from opportunistic trade and development deals. The net result is that the interest of small scale local economies are subservient to those of the large scale global economy.
All the subsequent rules and regulations that pour out of Brussels are designed to protect the powerbase of the multinational corporations and to destabilize and ultimately destroy more traditional regional and local economies – which are seen as unwanted and unnecessary competition.
So those who favour joining the EU are, whether they are aware of it or not, welcoming the further acceleration of mass produced low quality standardised supermarket food and the further decline of the local market place and village shop. They are hastening the decline of their own farming communities and the diversity of their historical landscapes. They are allowing their roots to be cut and their trees to be transformed into the mountain of paper on which the new rules and regulations will be enscribed.

Julian Rose

April 2003