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Towards a Free and Sovereign Europe

The Orthodox Churches and the EU

Some would say that the EU is not a concern for Orthodoxy. However, this cannot be the case, for of 500 million EU citizens, some forty-three million or nearly 9%, are nominally Orthodox.

Nearly half of this figure is made up of 19 million Romanians (Romania is the seventh largest country in the EU by population). Then come 11 million Greeks, 7 million Bulgarians and 750,000 Cypriots. However, the latter population is outnumbered by over 1.6 million Orthodox immigrants in Germany and at least 800,000 Orthodox (some say double that) in Italy. Then there are at least 500,000 Orthodox (some say double that) in Poland, 400,000 each in Latvia and the UK, 160,000 in Lithuania and 150,000 each in Estonia and France.

According to official statistics there are also tens of thousands of Orthodox (probably far more in reality), both recent immigrants and native Orthodox, in other countries. These are as diverse as Slovakia (60,000?), Portugal (50,000?), Holland (50,000?), Finland (50,000?), Sweden (50,000?), Slovenia (40,000?) and Ireland (20,000?). However, these official statistics take little account of the millions of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarussians or the million Moldovans (20% of that country’s population) living in Western Europe legally or illegally, especially in Italy. For example, figures of 400,000 Eastern European Orthodox in Portugal or 300,000 Ukrainians in Slovakia are often mentioned. Little wonder that there are official representations of Local Orthodox Churches at the EU in Brussels.

The Electorate and the Elite

Only some 160 million (43%) of the 375 million EU citizens eligible to vote in the EU Parliamentary elections of June 2009 actually voted. This fact shows how disenfranchised much of the EU electorate feels itself to be. Its feeling of powerlessness comes from an electorate that largely feels abandoned by a smug elite which appears to govern the EU. The proof of this is in the apparent surprise of that elite when it learns that the disaffected electorate feels powerless. Its surprise only confirms how cut off from reality it is.

For the electorate, the EU, originally merely a customs union, all too often seems to be undemocratic, untransparent and corrupt, run by the elite for the elite. The elite seems to have little concept of the daily struggle for survival of ordinary Europeans. We cannot forget that the elite is in part composed of the descendants (like Otto von Habsburg) of those who destroyed Europe in two European Wars, which became worldwide. Nor can we forget that the original idea of the EU goes back to the First Reich, that of Charlemagne (800), the Second Reich, that of Bismarck (1871) and the Third Reich, that of Adolf Hitler (1933). Some actually wonder if the Franco-German EU is not in reality a sort of Fourth Reich. After all it was Hitler’s idea to establish an economic and political community in conquered Europe. What was not achieved by arms and Berlin is so achieved by economic bribery and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Nowhere perhaps is the EU mentality of not listening to the people so developed as in the UK. The country is governed by an unelected Labour Prime Minister and the usual minority government which monitors society, almost Soviet-style, with over 4 million surveillance cameras. In its paranoia, this government also illegally guards the DNA records of millions of innocent people and detains suspects without trial. Its record of broken promises, series of meddling and costly foreign wars, suffocating and bankrupting bureaucracy, economic mismanagement through the illusory prosperity of a debt-financed boom, now bust, have been worsened by recently uncovered political corruption. All this has caused the ruling Party to fall into third, fourth, fifth and even sixth place in the EU elections in the UK. Some even say that all this will lead to its complete disappearance as a political Party.

A Free Europe of Sovereign Nations?

The smug elitism of the EU and national Establishments means that they do not often listen to their peoples. Moreover, in their narcissism, it often means that they do not even want to listen to their peoples. The result is profound popular distrust towards the EU and national governments. (This includes towards the governments of nominally Orthodox EU countries). Unsurprisingly, the reaction to all this is in the election of protest groups and extremist parties by disaffected EU citizens. Such extremists have long been established in France, but now they have come into existence in several other countries, including Holland, Austria, Hungary and the UK. However, there are also the first signs of hope for reform of the EU (hopefully, even leading to its abolition as such). This could come from a Movement for Reform, composed of Independent Democrats and parties from Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, the UK and elsewhere.

One of the main reasons for the extremist vote is fear of uncontrolled Islamic immigration and possible future Turkish membership of the EU. Although backed by Washington and its puppets in London, Turkey is unwanted in the EU. Most EU countries do not see Turkey as a future EU member. Indeed, they do not even see it as a European country. Its claim to Europe is after all only though violent invasion, genocide and occupation, both historic, and in Cyprus, recent. Ironically, this Islamic occupation would long ago have been reversed by Russia, if it had not been prevented from liberating the south-eastern corner of Europe and Cyprus by France and Britain in the nineteenth century and by Germany in the twentieth century. The EU elite, like most of the national elites, is anti-Christian, that is anti-Orthodox. Hence, its enforced gift of part of Serbia to Albanian Muslims. The only Orthodox group which supports Turkey’s entry into the EU is the enslaved Patriarchate of Constantinople with its 500 faithful in Istanbul. Clearly, since it is not free, it has no authority on this issue.

In all of this, many forget that there is also a Non-EU Europe. With a population of some 225 million, it is nearly half the size of the EU in population, but dozens of times the size of the EU in area. It is composed of a few very wealthy nations and privileged enclaves in Western Europe, like Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Monaco, and the vast and much less privileged areas of the Russian Federation, together with the Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and small, crime-ridden areas like Croatia, Albania and Bosnia. Perhaps ultimately the only way to make the European Union democratic and restore the sovereignty of captive EU countries is to work towards a Confederation of the Sovereign Nations of Europe (CSNE). But this could only be done together with the countries of the Non-European Union, so reinforcing the Christian, and not Islamic, roots of Europe, for the people and with the people.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

28 May/10 June 2009
St Ignatius of Rostov
St Germanus of Paris

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