Monday 18 May 2009

The Dangers of Nationalism in a Pan-European Campaign

Jamie [The Irish Time's Europe correspondent] has blogged on the reaction to Libertas' blue card scheme in Poland.

...Where Libertas are campaigning on reducing the restrictions to the free movement of workers....


  1. The Blue Card will also apply to Irish people abroad and in Northern Ireland, work permits will be needed to work in Belfast for Dubliners and vis a versa. Libertas are crackers. This would violate the Irish constitution and a lot more

  2. To a certain degree civic pride and national identity are natural and helpful for people, but once nationalism becomes strident it tends to hinder constructive cooperation across borders.

    Even more difficult to establish a pan-European political party based on the recruitment of extreme nationalists, since each one's concept is largely exclusive of those of the others.

    If we imagine a Libertas political group in the European Parliament, they could probably agree only to criticise the EU institutions and other groups, but they would have limited possibilities to develop a constructive agenda even on fundamental issues.

    My guess is that this is the prime reason for Libertas' failure to present a political programme ahead of the European elections - it would fall apart.

    Feeling the pressure to say something in public -- television, radio - during the campaign, the candidates have revealed the underlaying problem by shooting their party in both feet.

    For discernible voters, they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

    In addition to these political problems, Libertas has patently failed to apply even a modicum of openness and transparency to its own affairs, despite crying out loud for others to reform on an anti-sleaxe platform.

    We have no indications about any democratic structures or decisions within the party, and its campaign costs remain a mystery.

    Neither their political slogans nor their "factual" announcements have ever stood up to scrutiny.

    And the candidates they have netted are - in many cases - unsavoury extremists.

    Libertas' strongest points seem to be the most professional marketing among the Europarties and their power to attract a number of idealistic although mislead youth, alienated by the current EU.

  3. "My guess is that this is the prime reason for Libertas' failure to present a political programme ahead of the European elections - it would fall apart."

    I agree. It shouldn't be much of a surprise that they're turning into a party group rather than a party - something they've criticised the other party groups for. And a weaker party group than the ones already in the EP.

    At the same time they've formed alliances with non-Libertas parties in countries where they failed to register for the elections (I wonder if they count their allies' candidates in their candidate numbers?).