Slowly but surely the neo-liberal reality of the EU is sinking in:
The ‘leave a light on’ sensibility evokes the EU as a moral force. But this forgets that it is above all else a trade bloc. One that has ruthlessly attacked wages, pensions and public spending. Between 2011 and 2018, the European Commission, made demands on suppressing wage growth 50 times, and on collective bargaining rights 38 times. The idea that the EU is a benevolent administrator of workers’ right is a myth. These rights have been won by the trade unions, who at the present moment are in a stand off with French President Macron, the shining new hope of the EU.
The EU is not only undemocratic, in that its own structures are insulated from popular pressure and accountability, but also anti-democratic in that it erodes democratic structures of accountability elsewhere, particularly in member states. This doesn’t just include flashpoints like Catalonia, but its daily functioning. It is likely to get less democratic – and more militarised – as the crisis of Western politics and the global economy intensifies.