Europe Is Abandoning the European Union And Embracing Nationalism In The Face Of The Coronavirus

By S.G. Cheah··  6 min read
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EU became nationalist in face of coronavirus

The European Union likes to slam other nations for not showing solidarity when it comes to global policy matters. Countries wanting to preserve their national sovereignty are often mocked for being “stupid nationalists” because they place their country’s best interest first. But, in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, nations in the European Union have suddenly become nationalistic themselves.

Last week, there was a fiasco involving a Carnival cruise ship with four people dead on board (with two deaths confirmed to be from the coronavirus) heading towards South Florida. Residents of South Florida weren’t too happy about it. 

Zaandam cruise ship docks in FL April 2020 covid Alamy
Holland America's Zaandam cruise ship heads into Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA, on April 2, 2020.

My initial reaction was sympathy, and I thought they should be allowed to dock. But then I also remembered how our local healthcare resources are already stretched too thin. Our healthcare workers on the front lines are already struggling with the amount of stress they’re placed under.

And who in their right mind would evade the reality of how dire the circumstances are surrounding the coronavirus outbreak to the point where they would go on a cruise at this time? Especially when there were already news reports of cruise ships (like the Diamond Princess) being a horrific ground of infectious outbreak as early as the first weeks of February. And South Florida already has the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus in the entire state.

Our Community First 

I can understand why the Mayor and the Governor hesitated in letting the ship dock. On top of that, the cruise line had no plans for how to deal with the passengers after they disembarked in Florida. In the end, the passengers on the cruise ship were fortunate because President Trump overruled the Florida Governor’s edict to not allow the ship to dock. “They’re dying on the ship,” Trump said. “I’m going to do what’s right. Not only for us, but for humanity.”

We aren’t “stupid nationalists” if we act for the benefit of our nation and our citizens in a time of crisis.

This whole moral dilemma got me thinking about how in times of crisis, it’s rational to think about the well-being of your own community, first and foremost. The hesitance which South Floridians felt over having to deal with the problem of an international cruise ship is similar to how Europe and the European Union are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. 

The European Union's Obsession with Dismantling Sovereignty 

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, often lectures everyone around the world about their lack of “global spirit." Once, she insinuated that Australia was selfishly nationalistic because they refused to sign a UN global refugee pact. Merkel said, “There are people who say they can solve everything themselves and don't have to think about anyone else, that is nationalism in its purest form.”

angela merkel 2020 shutterstock

Merkel wasn’t alone in her sanctimonious outrage. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has lashed out at “stupid nationalists” for working against European solidarity. In his words, “These populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists, they are in love with their own countries.” He was referring mostly to the Brexit movement. To the governing elites of the EU, it was simply unacceptable that sovereign states, in today’s global age, would still be obsessed with their own nation’s welfare while they ignored the plight of others in need.

The Hypocrisy Plaguing the European Union 

Fast forward to 2020, when Italy was one of the first EU nations to be hit with the coronavirus crisis. Despite their desperate plea for assistance from other EU nations, Italy was initially sent no help. Finally, two weeks later, Poland sent 15 doctors. Italy’s permanent representative to the EU, Maurizio Massari, told Foreign Policy Magazine, “We asked for supplies of medical equipment, and the European Commission forwarded the appeal to the member states. But it didn’t work.”

Despite their desperate plea for medical assistance from other EU nations, only one country responded.

There is simply no solidarity in a time of crisis between nations in the European Union. So much for Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker’s sanctimonious outrage at countries for wanting to look after their own welfare first. As of the time this was written, Germany has 1,395 total deaths compared to Italy’s 15,362. 

The Unsaid Rationale behind Their Sanctimony 

I have a European friend who lived in Germany for a few years. I asked him about why the Germans tend to offer to bear most of the socio-economic brunt for the rest of Europe at their expense (well, that is, until they had to deal with a real crisis like the coronavirus pandemic). Like Merkel, it appears as if Germany is preoccupied with constantly subsidizing the rest of the EU at their expense. Why?

This was our conversation:  

Him: Well, Germany tends to overcompensate to help out the rest of Europe because the German people are afraid of being accused of their historical association with the “N” word. 

Me: What? What does historical racism in America have to do with Germany?

Him: No, the other “N” word — the Nazis.

Me: Oh.  

So perhaps German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s constant slamming of other countries for not showing solidarity is really a subconscious fear of Germany’s own historical guilt. Luckily for us in America, we were on the right side of history and should have no guilt about putting our own interests first. Like when we were accused by Germany for engaging in “Wild West methods” because we allegedly diverted crucially vital shipments of masks away from Germany for our people in America.

Germany tends to overcompensate to help out the rest of Europe because they're afraid of being accused of their historical association with Nazism.

We Do Right To Protect Ourselves

The way I see it, since the European nations had the Schengen agreement of open borders between their nation states, they allowed the accelerated spread of the Wuhan coronavirus all over Europe. These infected Europeans then brought it into America, hence infecting American citizens. But perhaps it may be unfair for me to blame the Europeans for the mishandling of this crisis, because I know there are Americans who traveled to Europe and brought the virus to the United States too.  

Closing Thoughts

Make no mistake, the main offender in this global pandemic is still the Chinese Communist regime for lying and covering up the severity of the outbreak in the beginning. But the European nations definitely do not hold any moral high ground in this crisis. We aren’t “stupid nationalists” if we act for the benefit of our nation. America has the right to defend its citizens, especially in a time of crisis. And this global pandemic is indeed a time of unprecedented crisis. We must do what we can to protect our nation’s best interest. Always. 

  Society  Coronavirus
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