What Europe Is Really Celebrating


What Europe Is Really Celebrating

The golden anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is next month. Can Europe finish the unification project it started 50 years ago?

The celebrations will be grand in Berlin on Sunday, March 25. There, the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, will host representatives of member nations and the pope himself for a grand shindig in celebration of “50 years of unity” on the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Yet, the European Union is anything but unified. Tensions are building that will lead to a separation of the strong from the weak, with the inevitable dominance of the latter by the former.

It is worth revisiting the history of this treaty, and the many treaties that followed it in turning what appeared to be an entirely economic enterprise uniting six European countries into the grand political experiment that is the European Union today. The EU has been 50 years in the making, but it has only been in the last decade and a half that the truly political nature of the European beast has become apparent.

Less than six years after the European Economic Community signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the Treaty of Amsterdam amended it and consolidated the EU and EC treaties. On Feb. 26, 2001, EU leaders signed the Treaty of Nice, which paved the way for further enlargement and created a single document upon which a European constitution could be developed. Finally, on Oct. 29, 2004, the heads of state of each EU member nation met again in Rome. This time, they met to sign a controversial document: the European Constitution.

What had started as a mere agreement on the integration of markets was suddenly transforming into a singular, great political entity, a veritable United States of Europe! This was becoming an empire of nations, with a single constitution that seemingly removed the sovereign rights of its individual member states, subsuming them into a federal body comprised of regions that ignored old national boundaries. And, as was patently obvious, it was once again Germany calling the tune!

On paper, to some observers, it seemed as though the old phoenix of the Roman Empire was arising from ashes. Certainly the extent of territory it embraced was not only like that of the old Holy Roman Empire, but remarkably like the map of Europe redrawn by Hitler just 60 years ago! Voices of concern began to be raised in some quarters.

Certainly Europe now stood upon its western and its eastern legs. But it was unwieldy. The various parts of this huge, greatly enlarged beast were not operating in complete harmony. It stumbled in its first few tentative steps as it sought to get used to being underpinned by two legs—the secular Western leg and its Eastern Catholic counterpart—that did not always want to go in the same direction. This beast appeared to be top heavy, weighed down with extraneous regulation. It was bloated with excessive bureaucracy and in great need of trimming its fat. What’s more, fraud was admittedly rampant within that very bureaucracy.

Soon, rumbles were heard from Berlin, the refurbished capital of an earlier Reich, now once again revived as Germany’s national capital. Those noises supported simplifying decision making and even streamlining EU membership. Lesser economies could be subsumed by the larger in a redrawing of the map of Europe to eliminate national borders and combine once-sovereign nations into broader regions within a great European fatherland.

This brings us to the current German presidency of the EU, at a most vital turning point in EU history.

It remains to be seen if Germany, now in the midst of its six-month presidency of the EU under Merkel’s leadership, can give new force and shape to this cumbersome beast, which comprises 27 separate nations trying to work together for another “50 years of unity.” The deck is stacked against her. Her task of drawing these disparate nations together to agree to ratifying the European Constitution seems an impossible one. If she fails, her rising political star may plummet, fracturing her unsteady government coalition. In the meantime, her main coalition partner, Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber, leader of the Christian Socialists, is due to step down from political office in September. This could set the scene in Germany, if not Europe as a whole, for a tumultuous political finish to the year.

Though Germany’s economy is currently being touted as recovering well and is posting positive growth statistics, Chancellor Merkel has yet to muster her coalition’s and, more importantly, the German public’s support to dealing with the nation’s deep systemic economic problems. While she may well ride the train of popularity when dealing with foreign affairs, such as with her current diplomacy with the United States, Russia and the EU, domestic problems will ultimately overwhelm her government. That day will come, and with it social upheaval in Germany.

Meanwhile, having basked in the global view under the spotlight of both the Bavarian Pope Benedict’s visit to Munich and the hosting of the World Cup soccer tournament last year, again Germany takes center stage, this time as EU member nations celebrate their “50 years of unity” in March.

As Merkel and all Berlin bask in that limelight on March 25, watch for when the hoopla ceases and reality dawns. Already, significant fractures appear beneath this facade of European unity. It is indeed a union of iron and clay. There is coming a division within this union, a fracturing into 10 separate regions, each with its own titular head, ultimately paying obeisance to Berlin and mother Rome. For, in fact, what you see forming in Europe today was foretold long ago in Bible prophecy. It is none other that the final resurrection of the old Holy Roman Empire, canonized in your Bible in Daniel 2:39-44 and Revelation 17:11-13.

An understanding of these prophecies will lead to the conclusion that Germany has a powerful and, once again, antagonistic geopolitical role to play within the emerging global order in the wake of America’s waning power. This is a fact that most foreign-policy gurus seem unable to grasp at this point.

The recovery of the German economy is fragile. It remains export driven. The lower the dollar dives and the higher the euro hikes, the tougher it will be for German exports, the lifeblood of Germany’s economy, to compete. The resulting economic pressure, combined with the resistance of the German populace to any government initiatives to dismantle the welfare state that holds Germany back from real economic health, will combine to put real stress on Chancellor Merkel’s government as the year progresses.

Watch for the future fracturing of this coalition government. Watch for EU “unity” to falter. Watch for both phenomena to coalesce into a grand economic and social crisis in both Germany and greater Europe that will spawn the return of the demagogue and a revival of past European history!

The foundation is already laid.

The time will come when Europe will follow the rising fashion in Russia and Latin America, and the cry will go up for a populist leader. Such a man will come to office, not necessarily via the electoral process within the European Union, but rather by diplomacy—or flatteries (Daniel 11:21). He will lead the countries of Europe out of their divisions into great, though very temporary, imperial strength.

Yes, that old Holy Roman Empire will rise again. That union which was spawned in the city of seven hills back on March 25, 1957, with the signing of the Treaty of Rome will yet return to its Romish spiritual roots! Yet, even as foreshadowed by the siting of the 50th-anniversary celebrations of that event in Berlin—not Rome—the real political, economic and military clout of this rising empire will emanate yet once more from Europe’s heartland, Germany! And as we have pointed out to our readers, its political leader may yet again hail from Bavaria!

Watch Rome. Watch Berlin. And watch the chief political personality in Bavaria. It’s more than possible that Rome, Berlin and Bavaria will again be drawn together for one final great European power play. But this empire will then be overtaken and subsumed by the much-anticipated intervention from the Highest of Powers in the grand-smash climax at the close of this age of global disorder and the ushering in of an age of peace beyond anything man could imagine!

Viewed through this lens, the celebrations in Berlin on March 25 are but a harbinger of the greatest news man could ever hear! “Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:45).

The Prophet Daniel foretold this wondrous future event—an event that will put an end, once and for all, to the tormenting, blood-spilling, perpetually resurrecting old Holy Roman Empire. It’s an event that will soon have all the world’s attention centered on another city, a city which, despite is ancient and continual war-torn history, will yet become the most glorious city of all, Jerusalem!

That is the real event for which we should all be now watching, with the greatest of anticipation!