Will the conflict between the principles of the freedom of movement and nationalism inevitably mean that the EU will collapse?

First of all, I don’t think the Brexit referendum or the election of Trump represent an overwhelming for or against certain principles. In both cases, they won by very slim percentages of 1–2 percent, which doesn’t represent anything.

In Theresa May’s case, it is very understandable why her supporters are trying to spin this into a victory against the principle of “freedom of movement” and “nationalism”. This is just a post ipso facto move to show that she has an overwhelming “mandate”, when in fact she doesn’t.

In fact, what it represents is a move to sell off state power and state assets to her Tory supporters, since there is very little left to sell off, and that is the only way she has left to show her gratitude to her bankers.

In the case of President Trump, he is a populist in mouth and tweets only, but he only represents moneyed interests, mainly his own. His moves against climate change and US national parks, and his son-in-law’s involvement now in selling US EB-5 visas to wealthy Chinese Reporters were forced out of the room during the Kushner family’s presentation to wealthy Chinese investors is effectively a fire sale on US assets to wealthy people from all over the world, since there is not much attractive about the US anymore.

What is really important about both elections is that both Brexit and Trump supporters have discovered how easy it is to use big data to manipulate democratic election results by targeting the 1–2 percent who are straddling the fence. To get a better understanding, you may want to read this article: https://www.theguardian.com/tech…

No, I don’t think so. Europeanism has had a long, long struggle with nationalism, in fact for as long as it exist, predating 1952 when the coal and steel community was founded.

The reasons that it has come this far is that it has something to offer that nationalism does not: a future with peace and prosperity. And yes it has a proven track record of that, just as nationalism has a proven track record of appalling violence, destruction, repression and poverty. The truth is that we need each other, whether we like that or not. And nationalism lives in denial of that fact of life.

That does not mean that the freedom of movement principle can not cause problems and conflict, as it clearly is doing now. It means that the EU needs to consolidate and become more economically homogeneous. And yes it needs both time and leadership for that.

The problems we are facing are the direct result of the EU calling the UK’s bluff. The UK thought that accession after accession of countries that were not really ready for it would gum up the works in Brussels to such degree that it would blow up the political structures of the EU and cause it to revert to the free trade zone Britain has -as only member- always wanted it to become. The UK has always wanted EFTA, not EU.

The EU decided to play along and try to absorb all of the former Warsaw Pact. It was a big risk, but allowing the East to become another Yugoslavia was not a viable alternative. Yes the accession wave has created big tensions, but ironically the UK was the one most sensitive to it, mostly because it has always tried to force its language down everyone’s throat. So, now all these Poles and Bulgarians wanted to go live in England rather than say Holland or Finland because then they would have to learn another language…

So, what is the solution? There certainly is no silver bullet. Europe will need to roll up its sleeves and get to work tenaciously on a number of front lines:

  1. It needs more democratic credibility and legitimacy. This can only come from the European Parliament getting more control over what is happening in Brussels and from the emergence of truly European political parties. There needs to be more transparency and accountability.
  2. In extension of 1): Europe needs to be the Europe of the citizens, not the bankers or the oil companies. They need to be subject to regulation.
  3. Security needs to be high on the agenda. This means better control over the outer borders, including a strong EU navy in the Mediterranean. But also internally: it is unacceptable that agents of foreign governments come and exact tribute from ‘their’ refugees on EU soil, as e.g. Eritrea is doing. This needs to be stopped on EU level
  4. There needs to be a renewable infrastructure fund that helps particularly the south liberate themselves from fossil fuel as much as possible. If the ECB prints more euros, I really don’t see why that cannot be used to help southern economies, the environment and energy independence all at once. Any ideological restrictions on such programs need to go.
  5. The flood of migrants needs to be tackled at the source. Eritrea is a good example. The regime there is very much the culprit for the flood of people the EU gets from there. Europe needs to project its power to counteract such situations. This requires more coherence in foreign affairs and a credible EU military and policies on the home front to stop such regimes from interfering inside the EU.
  6. Citizens in the southern member states need to understand that their political culture could do with some improvement and reject attempts from their politicians to blame their own bad behavior on the ‘evil Huns’. Yes, I do mean you, Greece.
  7. There needs to be a Europe-wide consensus and recognition that Europe is no one’s free lunch. There are far too many people with a rather parasitic attitude: they think that they are entitled to profit from Europe, while caring nothing about it and not being willing to lift a finger for it. This is unsustainable and needs to be denounced for the parasitism it really is. Again citizens in all member states should hold their own politicians accountable if they play this destructive game.

Brexit will prove disastrous for UK. The EU will ensure it. The French and Dutch have spoken forcefully against nativism. No one in their right mind wants to see Europe devolve into competitive nations at each others throats. I don’t see an EU collapse. The EU represents the largest world GDP. Collectively, that gives them a lot of economic power. The only European nation with serious economic clout is Germany. A Europe dominated by Germany is something no one wants. Europeans seem rather more inclined to learn from their mistakes unlike Americans who seem to relish making the same mistake over and over again.

The freedom of movement is what makes Europe Europe. Nothing furthers integration and mutual understanding more than people actually moving to one another and living amongst each other.

It is a binding factor.

Nationalism is indeed at odds with this. It is the immature reactionary impulse, which wants to hug the status quo and sees anything that challenges old clichès about oneself as a threat. It craves continuity of a narrative about oneself that in the case of European nations is strictly looking backwards. Not just the U.K. feels a narcissistic nostalgia.

And while in young nations a mythological self understanding can indeed be a motor for positive development it is a step backward for nations past their prime. Nationalism does not, like it assumes, clarify how to relate to the real world, it obfuscates reality.

The assertiveness that is so envigorating when starting afresh becomes the empty and inconsequential assertiveness of the proverbial man in the pub. His is a deluded view of the world resting on past assumptions and on the generous indulgence by his peers mostly for “old times sake”. It is not a realistic view about one’s place in the world though and therefore a bad basis for moving forward.

Europe has found the right mix for these competing elements epitomized in the slogan “unity in diversity”. And that means that mutual respect and peaceful cohabitation relies on breaking down fences. But beyond that also that we invite each other and that we participate with each other.

Not on the level of nations but, and there often lies the fundamental misunderstanding, on the level of human beings.

Therefore the Romanian working in Birmingham and the Londoner with a second home in Bulgaria, the Austrian in Bordeaux and the Lithuanian in Florence expect to meet their fellow Europeans on this human level. They bring with them national stories and sentiments, customs and perspectives that will break up the crusty old inefficient habits of the host nation. And they will in turn appreciate what is positive and valid there.

It is an immense chance for creativity and reinvention. But only if Europeans can stand being challenged by each other. If not not just the EU will collapse, the nations forming it will deteriorate into non-entities.

Nationalism one way or the other will not survive.

No, any more than exactly the same issue will cause the UK to collapse.

Brexiteers have for years got high on their dream of wrecking the whole of the EU. They love the idea of a disunited Europe so that the UK will seem strong by comparison. In truth though, there’s about as much chance as Dame Vera Lynn looping a Spitfire over Warminton-on-Sea than that happening.

Just because there are issues, it doesn’t mean the institution will fold. You could argue that the EU is better equipped to deal with this matter because of the experience it has and way it works. In the U.K, there are powerful forces too, but is Theresa May and her confederacy of dunces equipped to deal with them? Looks to me like the glue holding the UK together is getting a bit wobbly.

The answers to this question seem incredibly naive and disconnected from reality. We are in the beginning stages of the greatest mass migration of humans in the history of the word. Huge areas of the world suffering from drought, from political oppression, from war. People are on the move towards those places that have more. The clash between those with more and those with less will reach a tipping point as wealth and supply run out. People will give until their supply is threatened and then violence and conflict will break out. There is nothing new in this. The liberal naivety that there is an endless supply to meet the demands of those with nothing will start with nationalism but soon just become violence. Racism, xenophobia whatever you want to call it will break out when people can’t feed their families or even when their comfort zone is threatened. This is the time when the words and deeds of terrorists begin to make sense.

I don’t see a necessary conflict between freedom of movement and nationalism, because I don’t see a necessary connection between nationalism and xenophobia, or the belief that migration should be restricted for socio-economic reasons.

I also think that one needs to distinguish between the idea of freedom of labour and movement as a principle, and the specific implementation of that principle in a way that insists people are automatically treated as if you they are the national of the country in which they reside for the purposes of welfare, education, medical care etc.

By adopting such a broad version of freedom of movement, the EU has decided to wed itself to a concept that is deeply unpopular with the populations of almost all of its constituent states, other than small sections of a mostly urban and liberal intelligentsia. That stance clearly does the EU no favours in terms of winning hearts and minds, but as a stand-alone issue I don’t think its enough to make the EU collapse. If it was, the EU would have already done so.

When all economies are good, EU is great.

When economies are struggling, the weak will take down the stronger and the strong will have to prop up the weak. THis can go on only so long. Witness the PIGS – Portugal Italy, Greece and Spain who are mired in debt and unemployment though mismanagement and Germany France and Britain are being asked constantly to bail them out.

Nationalism and shared economy will eventually cause it to fracture, if not break.

The EU will collapse anyway because it is a unsustainable construction unfortunataly.

The principles of freedom of movement better described as cosmopolitanism is only supported by a small meagre percentage of the European people however these people do hold significant political power especially on the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

Nationalism is not rising currently however patriotism os (the diffrence matters) and will be a force in the ending of the EU.

It depends which nationalism you mean. If you mean the ones who want to make a certain region an independent country, no, because they are convinced pro-EU. If you mean the ones of the actual states, no. Because a lot of people doesn’t like the EU in its actual form (ie doesn’t want it to become a country) but few people want to abolish it.