Inherently Left of Center?

Romano Prodi, writing in Le Monde, claims that the European Union is inherently a left-of-center project. It’s an interesting claim–certainly one that Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl would probably dispute. But certainly the European institutions have changed since either of those Chancellors’ days, and a contemporary view might lend more strength to Prodi’s views and explain the relative prevalence of anti-EU sentiment on the right side of the political spectrum.

I’m of course relying on the summary from the estimable folks at Eurotopics, but it’s an interesting thought.

3 thoughts on “Inherently Left of Center?

  1. I have the distinct impression, from far away and little contact, mind you, that the opposition, from the right side of the political spectrum, is about nationalism. The EU seems to diminish the importance of national states, a focus of right-wing feeling, as opposed to conservatism, everywhere. By contrast, the EU seems to favor the development of regional and even local thinking within countries, or at least not be its enemy, as nation states have often been. Hence my distinction between “Right Wing” and “Conservative,” because true conservatism is rooted in the local and particular, to my way of thinking, and thus may actually not be too hostile to the EU.

    But this may look different from inside, or up close.

  2. A large and diverse area like the EU makes imposing regulations harder and the open borders make it harder for the member states.

    This is making life hard for traditional socialists. I suppose it boils down to what you mean by “left”.

  3. Adenauer’s conservatism was something rather different from the conservative nationalism of Imperial Germany. The Zentrum (Center Party) was certainly Catholic in orientation (which made it an outlier among the Protestant majority). But it also developed strong social programs and defended the rights of ethnic minorities, making it more of an alternative to the existing conservatism (and to social democracy, as well). Adenauer’s time in Cologne bears this out better than his politics as federal chancellor.

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