European Affairs

Basel, Weissenhaus. The Basler (Kanton Basel-Stadt) und die Schweizer Fahne, August first, 2020. Bild/Photo: TES.

The Union and the Disunion on the first of August

Switzerland is a small country (the size of the Netherlands) at the heart of Europe. Its fascinating history and culture and (direct) democratic, economic, monetary, political and multicultural accomplishments are (too) often overlooked and neglected by other (neighbouring) European countries.

Switzerland and its centuries of (not always peaceful and neutral) development to one of the most prosperous and democratic countries worldwide have a story to tell, also about the so-called European integration. The EU (too) often wants to unify the impossible. Its failures and megalomaniac ambitions are covered-up by ever more empty, hollow words, propaganda and above all subsidies.

The path that began with a loose network of more or less autonomous communities in Central Switzerland to what should become the Swiss Confederation or Eidgenossenschaft as it is known today started about 1300. Whether 1291 is the exact year (the oath of the places (Orte) Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden), or a few decades later, is not relevant. It is a fact that the first of August has been chosen by the parliament to celebrate the alliance of 1291 or first alliance(s) of the Swiss Confederation. No one questions the foundation of Rome by Romulus and Remus or Athens by the Goddess Athena, although all know that it is just a legend or myth.

An increasing number of Swiss citizens is well aware of the solid democratic, economic, social and monetary fundaments of their country. And thus they are critical towards this European Union and its often hasty and opportunistic projects. The ‘No’ of 50.3 % in the 1992 referendum grew to more than 76% in 2001, and the number is still on the rise.

The establishment calls it (too) often populism of poorly informed and inward-looking citizens on the country-side. One can also call it a good intuition, a brave attitude, a properly developed sense of (direct) democracy, good fatherhood and wellfounded realism to protect the country from the euro-populism, propaganda, and arbitrariness of the self-proclaimed Great Europeans.

Switzerland and the Netherlands share a republican past (until Napoleon) of relatively independent places or cantons (Switzerland) or provinces (the Netherlands). Both countries were ruled by oligarchic elites. Both countries belong to the top of the annual list of the United Nations and the OECD nowadays. There is one big difference, however.

It is called (direct) democracy. The Swiss political system is a bottom-up system; the Dutch system is a top-down system controlled by a (new) oligarchy of bureaucrats, political parties and their media. The proof of the pudding is into the eating. The government introduced the referendum in 2005 (more than 63% of the people voted (Elections European Parliament between 29 and 34 % at that time), around 62% voted against further EU-integration, the establishment simply ignored the outcome. In 2016 around the same number rejected de facto further EU-enlargement with ever more fragile countries, ever more debts and subsidies and above all corruption and systematic mismanagement (foreign policy (if any), support for dictators and warlords, refugees/immigrants and total lack of reform of the bizarre and overpaid, overstaffed and Babylonic eurocracy and European ‘Parliament’).

The reaction of the establishment: by a stroke of the pen it abolished the referendum in 2018. The citizens are too stupid, too provincial, too inward-looking and too nationalistic to understand the visionaries of the new European Order.

The Dutch oligarchy is the laughing stock of the EU, however. This oligarchy systematically misjudges, neglects, disregards and overlooks the (nationalistic and opportunistic) ambitions of other EU-countries/politicians about the euro, foreign policy, the lucrative (agricultural) subsidy system, states-aid or, for example, the current (illegal and lawless) transfer/stabilisation/union of bankrupt debtors and euro/corona/stabilisation bonds, whatever is in the name.

Switzerland celebrates its anniversary on August first. The congratulations go to the citizens. They are the politicians. They made the right choices on the most challenging topics/ moments and complicated circumstances from 1291 (and centuries later) onwards, with a little bit of luck and sometimes helped by the international situation. But they managed. Switzerland is a Union in diversity. The EU means disunity by unifying the impossible and just in words and worthless treaties.