Refugees - Research Guide International Law

Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma.

Replacing populations or the ‘Umvolkung Europas’

A Dutch politician is addressing the Court in The Netherlands in summary proceedings in order to obtain rectification by the editorial staff of a talkshow, which has attributed some statements about the policies of the EU to him, which he adamantly denies. According to the hostess of the talkshow the politician concerned has argued in parliament that the EU aims to replace the populations of the member states with immigrants in order to weaken their national identities and to undermine their existence. The talkshow refuses to give and states to have paraphrased the views of the politician in a balanced manner.

The attack on the Nation-State

In order to avoid judgement in a case, which is sub judice, it may be usefull to recall a few statements of the politician concerned, which are beyond contestation. In his dissertation ‘The Significance of Borders’, with which he obtained a law degree at the University of Leyden, Mr Baudet argued that the EU has been established with the aim to annihilate the nation-states of Europe.[1] In his view the founding fathers of the EU and its predecessors had gathered on the ruins of the Second World War with the premeditated plan to create a federal European state and to lure or force (vi aut clam) the existing states into submission. Ignoring article 4 of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates that the European Union ‘shall respect the equality of its Member States before the Treaties as well as their national identities, inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional’ he published the Dutch version of his thesis under the title: The attack on the Nation-State.[2] This disregard of the actual text of the treaties is the more remarkable in view of the author’s claim that supranationalism is irreconcilable with the rule of law. Obviously, it is impossible to respect the rule of law by disregarding it.

Facts and legal texts

A year after the defense of his dissertation the politician published a new book in Dutch, called Oikophobia.[3] In the footsteps of his British mentor Roger Scruton, Baudet exposes the EU as an expression of European self-hatred. Entirely overlooking article 2 TEU, which prescribes that ‘the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights’, the author argues that the EU is the ultimate negation of all European values. However, without further substantiation such claims tend to  become counterproductive.

During the parliamentary debate, which gave rise to the summary proceedings at the Dutch Court, Mr Baudet agrees to have stated that ‘the EU is organising the transport of immigrants from Africa to Europe in order to undermine the national identities and to ensure that the nation-states of Europe cease to exist’. Apart from the question, whether this statement amounts to the conclusion that the EU aims to replace the population of Europe as the judge in summary proceedings will have to decide, the factual correctness of this statement appears to be doubtfull. Anyone who has visited the asylum camps on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea will find it difficult to underwrite this assertion.

The conclusion of this summary inquiry must therefore be that none of Baudet’s three statements is substantiated by facts. On the contrary, the treaties on which the EU is built point in an entirely different direction. The moral question is therefore whether a politician, who publicly demonstrates a blatant disregard for both facts and legal texts, is entitled to ask a court of law to summon a third party to rectify a paraphrase, which is largely not contradictory to but rather complementary of the statements he actually made.

[1] T. Baudet, The significance of borders, Leyden 2012

[2] T. Baudet, De aanval op de Natiestaat, Amsterdam 2012

[3] T. Baudet, Oikofobie, Amsterdam 2013

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *