There is a change taking place that could spell trouble for the future of the European Union and the philosophy of globalism. Last year’s Brexit vote was the first sign that something was amiss. When the Brits stunned the world with an unexpected vote to leave the European Union, no one would have guessed it was a match that ignited a large-scale move away from globalism and multiculturalism, and a move toward nationalism. But that is exactly what Brexit did.
In the presidential debates prior to this year’s U.S. election, Chris Wallace questioned Hillary Clinton about her aspirations for a borderless, hemispheric state. Not wanting to admit that globalism was her goal—she backpedaled and said the statement was made in reference to a borderless energy grid. The attempt to deny her support for globalism fooled no one. Trump, who has been criticized for his nationalistic views, won enough votes in the Electoral College to become the president. And the hopes anyone had that America would join the globalist movement were crushed.
Less than a month after Trump’s victory, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reform referendum failed by a large margin. The defeat signaled a move away from the centralization of power in Europe. Italy’s populist Five Star Movement (MS5), which has seen growing support recently, is demanding an immediate general election. If MS5 manages to take power, they would do their best to restore nationalism to Italy. They’ve stopped short of promising to hold a referendum on leaving the EU, but they haven’t ruled it out. The Pew research Centre found in June that 58 percent of Italians still held a favorable view of the EU, but there remains much criticism of how Brussels has managed the economic crisis and the migrant problem. And if the wave of populism spreading across Europe continues, the far right movement in Italy may gain even more support.
Netherlands is due for its own elections soon and the Dutch right-wing Freedom Party has taken a commanding lead in the polls. If the elections were held today, the Freedom Party and its controversial leader Geert Wilders would beat Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Conservative Liberal party.
Wilders, who has been called the “Dutch Donald Trump,” was tried and found guilty of inciting discrimination for asking a crowd in 2014: “Do you want more or fewer Moroccans in this city and in the Netherlands?” When the crowd answered “fewer, fewer,” Wilders replied: “We’ll take care of it.” Wilders, like other far right leaders as risen to power by tapping into growing frustration about Europe’s migrant crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will run for a fourth term next year, but she faces opposition from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has also gained popularity. Many experts feel that Merkel will be re-elected. But if AfD manages to pull off an upset, the European Union will lose its most vocal supporter in Merkel.
French citizens will also go to the polls next year to elect a new President. One candidate who has benefited from the wave of populism is Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front party. Le Pen has held Donald Trump up as an example of what’s possible for France. Echoing Trump’s promise to “Make America great again,” Le Pen envisions a future for France that harkens back its former glory. The country “would be very different. It would be the comeback of France, of the France that you like, of the France that hundreds of millions inhabitants of the earth love.”
Le Pen has promised that if elected, she’ll ask French citizens to vote on leaving the EU. France and Germany were the founders the European Union. If Le Pen and her party take power and if France votes to leave, a dark cloud will be cast on the future of EU.
The UK was the first nation that voted to leave the EU. Next year, other nations may follow. Although the UK has been slow to implement the transition out of the EU, the separation is taking place. And it’s happening without the catastrophes that were predicted by Brexit critics. As the European economy continues to crumble under the weight of massive debt, anemic growth and wasteful practices, and as violence grows across Europe, maybe the Brits will begin to see the wisdom of their decision. And maybe the rest of the EU will look to them as an example of painful but necessary break they must make with failed policies of globalism.
Praying Medic is a paramedic and author living in Phoenix, Arizona. Since 2009, he has written about the miracles God has done through his medical practice. His life goal is to teach people to live as ambassadors of God’s kingdom. His books and articles are intended to inspire and challenge readers to enter into a deeper relationship with God.