Following last weekend’s elections, the U.K. Independence Party and the Front national will hold pluralities in Britain and France’s new delegations to the European Parliament. Each of these parties is staunchly anti-European Union and advances secessionism. Progressive-minded commentators, who favour the bureaucratic, centralizing, diversifying, and anti-nationalist character of the E.U., have been unsurprisingly dismayed by this development. I am perplexed, however, that North American conservatives have been so quick to attack these parties.
The European Union, the sprawling Brussels-based super-government that presides over 28 unequal, often disorderly member countries, has two central goals: everyone uses the same currency, and citizens of any member country can live and work in any of the others.