Home/Daniel Larison/The EU’s Days of ‘Ever Closer Union’ May Be Over

The EU’s Days of ‘Ever Closer Union’ May Be Over

The Postreports on fears that “Brexit” could be contagious:

Even if nations defuse their own burgeoning Euro-skeptic movements, the days in which leaders convened in Brussels to hand ever more sovereignty to the E.U. may be over if Britain departs, diplomats say.

According to a survey of public opinion in several EU countries, those days may be over regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s vote. Pew found that there is broad support for returning more powers to national governments in many EU member states.

Disagreement on ‘ever closer’ union

The constituency for transferring more powers to Brussels is a minority, and with approval of the EU declining in most countries it seems unlikely to get larger in the near future. When the results are broken down by party, we see that supporters of almost every major party in Europe wants to keep things as they are or return more powers to the national level. There is no appetite anywhere in Europe for “ever closer union.” If the EU misinterprets a British Remain vote as an invitation to pursue further centralization, it is likely to encounter significant resistance in many countries. Pushing for the transfer of additional powers to Brussels could end up provoking the exodus of members that Europhiles fear “Brexit” might cause.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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