European Commission President Mrs von der Leyen today unveiled a series of objectives with the stated intention of making the bloc more resilient and united to confront futures crises after the coronavirus pandemic, which has plunged Europe into its deepest recession in history. However, Derk Jan Eppink suggested the true aim was to take more power away from the bloc’s individual member states.
Mr Eppink, member of the right-wing Forum for Democracy (FVD) party, pointed to plans to establish a health care union as evidence, as well as questioning who would ultimately end up fitting the bill.
He said: “This State of the Union was a power-grab.
“It is no longer a question of whether the EU wants to become a superstate, but when this will become a reality.
“The COVID-19 crisis is used to centralise controversial topics under a Brussels bureaucracy. Those are ambitious plans.
“But who is going to pay? The Dutch taxpayer will bleed.
“Fortunately, the Member States still have a vote on these plans in their national parliaments.
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“The EU will take further control of our lives. The bigger, the more authoritarian.”
During her speech, Mrs von der Leyen said: “For me, it is crystal clear – we need to build a stronger European Health Union.
“And to start making this a reality, we must now draw the first lessons from the health crisis.
“We need to make our new EU4Health programme future proof.
“This is why I had proposed to increase funding and I am grateful that this Parliament is ready to fight for more funding and remedy the cuts made by the European Council.”
Her speech concluded: “When we had to find a way forward for our future, we did not allow old conventions to hold us back.
“When we felt fragility around us, we seized the moment to breathe new vitality into our Union.
“When we had a choice to go it alone like we have done in the past, we used the combined strength of the 27 to give all 27 a chance for the future.
“We showed that we are in this together and we will get out of this together.”
She added: “The future will be what we make it. And Europe will be what we want it to be.
“So let’s stop talking it down. And let’s get to work for it.
“Let’s make it strong. And let’s build the world we want to live in. Long live Europe!”