The EU: a ‘model’ for the world
But it is his assertion that the EU should be dedicated to free trade that interests Cranmer, for the free market is associated with the dog-eat-dog mentality of the Anglo-Saxon world, and this is quite at variance with the social vision of the Union’s founding fathers. This theme was taken up recently by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who asserts that the free market should not be Europe's 'creed'. He wants a Europe that would see ‘untramelled capitalism pushed far down the political hierarchy to be replaced by a focus on cultural and spiritual issues with more than a hint of European protectionism’.
For the UK, the EU is about economics, trade, the market, and wealth creation; on the Continent, it is about social policy, cultural identity, and spiritual values. It is the unresolved tension between the Protestant work ethic and Roman Catholic social doctrine that brings Europe, as M Sarkozy observes, to a ‘moral and political crisis’. It lacks coherence, has no stated goals, and manifests no discernible purpose.
The EU model which Mr Miliband wished to promulgate is not the French model, and neither is that of Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc., etc. It may be shared by Denmark or Sweden, but they barely register on the scale of European consciousness. The French president is of the view that ‘Europe can only be Europe in the eyes of all men if she defends spiritual values and civilisational values’. He goes on to say: ‘The word protection should be not be outlawed; we must be able to protect ourselves as much as others do.’ And so the EU ‘model’ has a default setting to Socialist Catholicism, or Catholic Socialism, and this cannot coexist with the antithetical Protestant doctrine of free-market economics. They are mutually exclusive philosophies: the one must be subsumed to the other. The only model that results otherwise is that of Babel.