Monday, July 01, 2013

Croatia - out of the Yugoslav frying pan into the EU fire

The crowds danced and sang in jubilation. Fireworks illuminated the night sky and Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' rang out in the streets of Zagreb. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso ascended the stage, raised his arms, and greeted Croatia as the 28th member state: "Welcome to the European Union!" he exclaimed to thousands of Croatians, mesmerised by the promise of hope and the assurance of change.

"As midnight struck, your country crossed an important threshold," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told them. "It will change the life of this nation for good."

"In the history of a nation, there are a few events such as this one," Croatia's President Ivo Josipovic said. "The accession of Croatia to the European Union is confirmation that each one of us belongs to the European democratic and cultural set of values."

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, described Croatia's accession as a historic day: "EU membership will offer no magic solution to the crisis," he said in a statement. "But it will help to lift many people out of poverty and modernise the economy."

Just 20 years after fighting a bloody war of independence to free itself from the artificial construct formerly known as Yugoslavia, Croatia has now ceded sovereignty to the artificial construct known as the European Union. Significantly, the leaders of the ex-Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo were all present at the celebrations in a show of European unity. Beethoven is better the bombs; fireworks preferable to ethnic cleansing. Their own nations are still years away from EU accession.

Interestingly, Chancellor Merkel was not present with other EU leaders, which is a little strange when one considers that this accession represents something of a triumph for German foreign policy: it was they who unilaterally recognised Croatia in 1991, swiftly followed by the Vatican. Some 88 percent of the country's 4.4 million people are Roman Catholic. Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic said that the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Croatia two years ago ‘shows a clear support for the Holy See to Coatia's EU entry’. Even as they were burning EU flags and parading banners reading ‘I love Croatia, not the EU’, and ‘Go away EU’, Pope Benedict was urging this ‘Staunchly Catholic’ country to join the supranational entity out of solidarity with other European nations.

Others called it bribery.

According to Professor Anton Tamarut of the Zagreb Catholic Faculty of Theology, ‘Some Catholics fear that by entering a big family of European people a part of our spiritual legacy, of everything that formed us throughout history ... will be lost’. For Drina Cavar, who heads the Catholic association Kristol Stol (Christ's Table), Croatia’s EU membership will sacrifice parts of its ‘independence and authenticity’.

Parts of its independence and authenticity?

No, the whole of them, for there can be no independence when sovereign political power is ceded to unaccountable bureaucrats and superior courts of justice and human rights. There can be no authenticity when the artificial construct is superimposed upon centuries of culture, custom and tradition.

The past role of Christianity in giving some identity to Europe is not open to dispute. Although European culture has grown from many roots, the Christian faith helped to give it shape and content. The Christian heritage is still evident in many aspects of European life. It does not, however, provide a self-evident basis for a new European identity. 

Croatia needs Europe.

But not this one.


Blogger David Hussell said...

Excellent post Your Grace.
It hits the nail on the head. Membership of the EU leads to a slow, painful political absorption and an end to any expression of local character or creativity, spiritually, culturally, legally and ultimately, I suspect, economically, unless you are Germany of course. It is a form of pan-European socialism with all that that implies for the undermining of family life and the loss of individual freedom.

Does the Catholic Church really support the EU, as it is, or just as a political grouping that has the potential to be a good thing? That puzzles me. Surely they can see that it's humanism based laws are inimical to Christianity ? Indeed within the Anglican Church the thinking is very wooly and naive, with many Bishops seeing it as a means to cooperate with others, partly because they are under the influence of The Guardian type "news" perhaps.

1 July 2013 at 08:15  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

All the EU states were opposed to diplomatic recognition of Croatia, as it seceded from Yugoslavia. Then suddenly they all agreed.

The reason was Mr. Major's need to stay out of the euro - something he knew he could not sell to his party or his country.

The Maastricht treaty was being negotiated at the time. Germany pointed out that the UK was committed to joining the euro "in principle" by the small print of the earlier Single European Act.

Diplomatic recognition of Croatia was Germany's price for letting him off the hook.

I had this confirmed by a former British cabinet minister and a former Czech ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna.

Germany, of course, had been stoking up all the separatist movements in Yugoslavia. The Croatian movement received massive shipments of German arms and cash, as well as the later use of NATO airpower and intelligence to help them ethnically cleanse the Serbs of the Krajina in "Operation Storm" which occasioned the massacres discovered by Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

1 July 2013 at 08:22  
Blogger Preacher said...

So Croatia has swallowed the EU bait. Have they not been aware of the news from Greece, Italy or Cyprus to name but a few?.
Truly, the pen IS mightier than the sword & history repeats itself, it has to, because nobody listens the first time.

1 July 2013 at 10:06  
Blogger Owl said...

It would seem that the people of Croatia are less than enthusiastic.

But who asks the people what they want these days.

1 July 2013 at 10:29  
Blogger LEN said...

Sovereign Nations surrender all they have fought for and treasured over the past Centuries to the' United States of Europe'. The EU which was born out of and survives by deception grows with each victim it consumes.

Pope Benedict hoped to somehow put a leash on 'the monster' which is the EU and have some sort of control over it that is why he hopes for allies to help him in this endeavor.

True Christianity is of another World and can have no part of this monster created by men for their own gain and control over the unsuspecting masses.

1 July 2013 at 11:50  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

So Herr Shultz reckons EU membership will help to lift many people out of poverty and modernise the Croatian economy. No doubt similar predictions were made for Greece and Cyprus and look at the deprivation in those countries now.

The Euro is a disaster and the EU is a trap. Only the elite will prosper and not for long. Political and social upheaval within the Eurozone is inevitable. French nationalism is already on the rise with militant support from both wings of the political spectrum. Hollande is economically incompetent and France is big enough to destroy the Euro and sink the EU. This is worth a read:-

The Euro can do without another member with a creaking economy, yet Croatia is in a rush to join the suicide pact. Its people have been betrayed.

1 July 2013 at 11:52  
Blogger non mouse said...

Hear, hear, Your Grace. Thank you.

It's hard imagining anyone going out to cheer that Rumpy personage --- any more than evisaging support for our own Prime Jellyfish. I dare to hope it didn't attend the 'celebrations.'

As for Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" : it is now forever sullied by association with filth.

1 July 2013 at 13:14  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Croatia, another sovereign country to be duped into the European Union (the German Empire by stealth) Look at the Croatia's balance sheets and see how they have been fiddled to look better than they are so they may “qualify to join”. The same scenarios as Greece,Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus. The country will be laden with debt. When they get into trouble Germany aka the EU buys their bonds then takes the money back and their country too by dictating to them how they have to financially behave.

Britain has to get out of the stranglehold of the EU before it bankrupts and strips us of our sovereignty too.

1 July 2013 at 16:38  
Blogger Flossie said...

Nigel Farage has their measure.

1 July 2013 at 16:45  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Thanks Flossie.

Nigel Farage is brilliant.

1 July 2013 at 17:28  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Non Mouse,

The mischievous part of me appreciates your "Prime Jellyfish".

1 July 2013 at 18:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The EU is ideal for these economic minnows to attach themselves to. We have our own minnows. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So we’ll look after them, out of the EU, and the Germans can pay for Croatia and the rest of the also rans on it’s own...

1 July 2013 at 18:47  
Blogger Nick said...

I can't help but feel sorry for the naieve blighters. Do they realise the loss of sovereignty that will follow? Also, I doubt its large RC community will be too delighted when the ECHR starts telling them they to marry gays and be nice to terrorists. Not to mention having their bank acconts raided by ECB while thousands lose their jobs. Welcome to the E.U.S.S.R!

2 July 2013 at 08:03  
Blogger Peter D said...


One wonders whether the Vatican miscalculated or whether it was actually looking to strengthen Christianity within the EU.

When the Vatican recognised Croatia's independence in 1992, its popularity was boosted in the country. However, Croatia's Catholicism and nationalism are entwined.

The Catholic Church has been criticised for insisting on religious education in public schools, and also backing a law at restricted medically assisted births. Some are against the Church's intrusion into such *secular* areas, whilst others believe religious leaders should have a strong voice.

Guess who'll win out once the full weight of European ;human rights' legislation prevails. Poland is holding off introducing homosexual marriage but foe how much longer once the EU insists marriages in one EU State must be recognised in another?

Maybe a Christian block within the EU is a strategy but most nominally Catholic countries have already embraced the *freedom* of atheist, liberal secularism.

2 July 2013 at 18:01  

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