You’d expect a degree of post-nationalism in places such as Belgium, which, as a unified entity, has never been much of a country, but to see these words (summarized here) written in a newspaper published in Estonia, a nation that has succeeded in preserving its national identity against almost unimaginable odds, is truly sad:
Martin Kala fears the rise of populism in several European member states could hinder the adoption of the EU reform treaty this autumn. “Populist politicians convey the impression that Europe is an elite club. Nationalist slogans, protectionist measures and widespread distrust are gaining ground. In some member states, the message is increasingly that the focus should be more on the nation’s own interests and the ‘true concerns of the people’. What kind of message have the Polish leaders sent to Brussels in recent times? Only that its people are primarily concerned about the future of Poland rather than that of Europe.
If you want to see the way that the EU ‘ideal’ is corrupting Europe’s political discourse, that’s not a bad example. As Richard at EU Referendum notes:
“The funny thing is that ‘populism’ – i.e., looking after the national interest, in response to public opinion – used to be called ‘democracy.’”