Romania takes a shortcut to the exit
When some drivers break all traffic rules in order to move faster than others, traffic gets worse. Due to a small number of rule-breakers intersections get jammed, chaos increases, car-queues stretch over kilometers, accidents happen, and the city gets topsy-turvy.
Only fear of punishment and education change driving behavior. When the fear of the law goes away, law-breaking cases multiply. If those who are part of the traffic are also poorly educated, you’d better move away. Possibly to another country.
By always taking a shortcut, all the traffic’s “crafty boys” will feel smarter and emboldened, far superior to the other idiots waiting at the traffic light, prisoners in endless queues. However, the truth is that when arbitrariness becomes the norm and everyone jumps over their turn, everything goes awry. Nobody wins in this situation.
The problem is that taking shortcuts has become a national and regional obsession. The EU’s controversial drivers today are called Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu in Bucharest, Viktor Orban in Budapest, Jarosław Kaczyński in Warsaw. They all propose the shortcut, the dead end road, driving in the prohibited direction, the thwarting of rules, or even the deviation from the European road as a country project.
The democratic project started 30 years ago, immediately after the fall of communism, is dangerously approaching bankruptcy in all of these countries. The truth is that Romania, Bulgaria, or Hungary were not well prepared for joining the EU. In the absence of real and sustainable reforms in the economy, justice, education, and other key sectors, we barely made it in. Historical luck. The generous idea that they would catch up after accession was utopian.
Brussels itself has not found effective methods of disciplining newcomers, nor have these countries ever shown too much respect for European values. They have mimicked them for years, but they have not internalized them for a moment. As a result, the generations that emerged from communism and is still profoundly marked by its harmful effects produced about the same kind of country in Eastern Europe: they created forms without foundation, budget aristocrats, infernal bureaucracies, dysfunctional and profoundly corrupt systems.
All those who are looking for a more friendly country or community, with rules applying for everyone, have been running head over heels to get out of these countries. The Eastern European countries haemorrhage citizens, leaving behind confused populations and talented populists.
Corruption is itself a shortcut, the path to personal prosperity and the impoverishment of others. In a functioning democracy, corruption should also be the shortcut road to prison. In Romania, ideas about exiting the EU emerged on this overcrowded road.
A short turn away from a civilized highway with traffic signs, speed limits, rules and policemen, and we are all set, we escaped fines. What do we win if we go out? Everyone does what they want again, as they see fit. The only rule is to have the loudest horn, and you’ll always be at the top of the food chain.
Policemen with their rules, inside and outside the country kill our stamina, hinder development, and threaten the freedom of doing anything.
With this conviction, Poland defies the European Court of Justice (the very idea of a common rule), Hungary curses Brussels about migration, otherwise a non-existent problem in our neighboring country, and Dragnea and Tariceanu gave the Roexit tone after the first vice-president The European Commission, Frans Timmermans, unmistakably called their bluff.
Timmermans asked them not to hide behind the people to justify the destruction of justice and said he did not want the family values he believes to be turned into „arguments to justify homophobia.”
“I have never imagined that a country joining the European Union will be so brutally threatened (…) I really do not think that First Vice-President Timmermans can tell the Romanian people how to vote in this referendum. I really do not think anyone in the European Union can tell the Romanian people how to define marriage in the Constitution, ” Dragnea said in the most categorical anti-Brussels outing so far.
The masks have fallen completely off the faces of the SDP-ALDE leaders. Mr. Tariceanu’s party has just invited Daniel Dragomir, Roexit’s first open supporter to the European Parliament. From now they show their true colors and play an open hand.
All European populists claim to have discovered a shortcut, a hole in the fence, a mysterious portal that will take us in a moment to the realm of eternal prosperity. They all sell illusions and fears, stir up the fantasy of isolationism, beckon us to the comfort of the traditional values countering to the decadent Occident, cultivate the fear and hatred of foreigners, of the minority, of the other, described as the deadly enemy, finally raising all the possible smoke screens to uncover their true intentions.
This is a classic recipe. This is how all the dictatorships and autocracies were born.
The Romanian Roexit looks like the most foolish of all other anti-EU movements. It looks like the great escape organized by a group of criminals who run away from jail. It does not have its own ideology, just a conspiracy-based mentality of corrupt extraction.
In reality, nothing good awaits us outside the EU. We have been there before, in the no man’s land of history, where rules that are valid only for gullible idiots, where corruption flourishes, and where only crooks are thriving.
Today, there are countries like Ukraine, Moldova, Montenegro, Bosnia or Serbia. Beyond the EU fences, only Russia and a great poverty are waiting for us.
It is still in our power to avoid yet another major historical accident. We are going to have to take the wheel out of the crooked driver’s hands, and stop him from his crazy rush to the abyss before he pulls a whole country behind him.
It would be totally ridiculous if the 1st of January 2019 sneaks up on us at the helm of the European Union, with a country led by a government that does everything in its power to bring us out of Europe.
Traducere: Ruxandra Stoicescu
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