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Wake up call to Europe

October 12th, 2018

A pro-government historian believes that leading West European politicians would like to go back to the times when Eastern Europe was a second-rate region. She invites them instead to meet the new challenges of the modern era.

In her Látószög blog, Mária Schmidt describes the new era opened in world politics by the Trump presidency as a shift from the Wilsonian idea of transforming the Globe to America’s image to a situation where countries and alliances must shape their own strategies. In her interpretation, that is what Prime Minister Orbán of Hungary did when he put forward his idea of illiberal democracy, by which he meant that his government would stick to Christian Democracy and the social market economy. That idea can freely be debated, she says, but that doesn’t relieve others from the duty of proposing their own alternatives. The only West European leader who is trying to do so is President Macron of France, although Mária Schmidt finds his approach inconsistent, for sometimes he advocates a two-speed Europe, while every so often he comes forward with the idea of a completely federalised European Union. The rest of the mainstream Western leaders however don’t even try to formulate a vision, she remarks. They are daydreaming of an old world order where, tucked under the American nuclear umbrella, they felt superior to the Eastern European nations languishing under Soviet rule. It would be time to wake up, Schmidt concludes, and ‘replace vinyl records with podcasts’.

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