Europe’s Golden Anniversary

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Europe’s Golden Anniversary

From the April 2007 Trumpet Print Edition

At the close of World War ii, the Western Allies maintained that any prospect of Hitler’s national socialist dream of global conquest had been banished from European soil, never to raise its head again.

But had it?

On March 25, Europe celebrates a golden anniversary—50 years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome. It may have been apparent to few at the time, but the signing of that treaty in that ancient city on March 25, 1957, laid the groundwork for what is yet to become the singular most dominant force in geopolitics this century, the European Union.

As Rodney Atkinson and Norris McWhirter point out in their book Treason at Maastricht, today’s EU looks uncannily similar to Hitler’s Europe.

It All Began in London

Just four years following Allied victory in Europe, the Treaty of London, signed by 10 Western European nations on May 5, 1949, brought the Council of Europe into existence. The signing of this treaty set a chain reaction in motion, leading ultimately to the monolithic, 27-nation European combine we know today. Yet it was to be the Rome treaty, signed eight years later, that would be traditionally looked upon as having spawned the post-war unification of Europe.

The paradox is that, though the Treaty of London laid the groundwork for what was to later become the European Union, the European Community that the treaty led toward establishing would never come to London for any other of its important meetings, let alone the signing of future treaties that would build the union into what it is today. In fact, for 24 years, uniting Europe would deny Britain entry into its fold. Then, upon its entry, Britain would become the thorn in Europe’s flesh.

The eight years following the creation of the Council of Europe were filled with frenetic European diplomacy, led primarily by France, supported by the three Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). This diplomacy was aimed at creating a European order that would constrain Germany in such a fashion as to never permit a repetition of Germany’s aggression against a neighboring country such as occurred in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and the world wars of 1914 and 1939.

On May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman presented a declaration to the Council for closer cooperation among European nations. It was based on a simple idea proposed by French political economist Jean Monnet: that only by binding Germany into an agreement where its heavy industry was controlled in a manner so as to limit its potential to rearm could lasting peace be obtained in Europe.

From London to Rome

Monnet’s thesis was published on May 9, 1950, and presented by Schuman on that day. What then became known as the Schuman Plan proposed joint control of Western European coal and steel production, the most important materials for the armaments industry.

The German chancellor at the time, Konrad Adenauer, seeing the Schuman Plan as a viable means to hasten Germany’s post-war reconstruction, readily agreed to the proposal. This opened the way, less than a year later, on April 18, 1951, for the birth of the European Coal and Steel Community (ecsc).

By signing this treaty, six nations—Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux nations—placed control of coal and iron ore under their joint management, so none could individually exploit these resources for the manufacture of weapons of war. There followed six years of continuing diplomacy among these six nations, significantly led by France and Germany. These efforts created a common market, known as the European Economic Community (eec). Signed in Rome on March 25, 1957, the eec Treaty, known as the Treaty of Rome, brought the six ecsc countries into a community whose aim would be to use trade, not war, to weld together a European community.

What was not publicized widely was the ultimate aim of the union’s founding fathers to take this trading combine into a final phase that would unite Europe economically, monetarily, industrially, politically and, finally, militarily. In point of fact, their goal in uniting Europe was imperialistic from the beginning. In his 1950 speech, Schuman had declared that “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan,” and that the ecsc was the “first step in the federation of Europe.”

That goal was to remain largely hidden for the following 30 years under the mask of common trade interests. However, beneath the surface, certain influences were at play that would emerge, after Germany unified on Oct. 3, 1990, to power this seemingly innocuous trading bloc forward to fulfill the old German dream of European hegemony as a platform for future global dominance.

From Rome to Maastricht

It may be said that the spiritual birth of the European Union as a social and political system took place in Rome at the signing of that treaty 50 years ago. The following year saw the establishment of the bureaucracy that would eventually produce over 80,000 pages of rules and regulations as the expanding, reviving European empire grew into one of the most formidably regulated economies in history. Foremost among the entities that originated with the 1951 and 1957 treaties were euratom (to develop atomic energy policies), the Parliamentary Assembly (which later became the European Parliament), the European Court of Justice and the European Investment Bank.

From 1957 to 1970, the eec concentrated on economic growth. The postwar period to the early 1960s became known as the wirtschaftswunder, the economic miracle by which free West Germany powered its way back from the ashes of World War ii to become the leading economy in Western Europe.

As the geopolitical freeze of the Cold War deepened, the contrast between East Germany’s lackluster command economy and the markedly glitzy capitalistic West Germany was too much to contain a drift of population from east to west. In 1961, Communist East Germany created the physical divide of the Berlin Wall to lock out east from west at the border between the two in Berlin.

Through the 1960s and ’70s, West Germany suffered with the rest of the West in the great social upheavals of that time. Extremist terror groups motivated by Marxist/Leninist initiatives in France, Italy and Germany mounted a struggle against “state imperialism.” Yet still, economic growth in the eec member nations remained comparatively robust, in particular within West Germany, which had become the economic engine of Western Europe.

Having concentrated on economic growth in the period from its creation in 1957 through to 1970, the eec switched its sights to community enlargement during the ’70s and ’80s. In the 1970s, the eec opened its doors to Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In 1981 Greece joined, followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986. That same year, eec members signed the first major amendments to the Treaty of Rome, the Single European Act, ratified on July 1, 1987.

Enlargement—Building the Eastern Leg

The Single European Act was mainly an effort to hasten European integration. It amended the rules governing the operation of the main European institutions and expanded eec powers, paving the way for a common foreign policy.

The true nature of the beast was finally emerging. Far from remaining true to its roots as a simple trading entity, the ultimate political aspirations of the founders of the EU were beginning to come into view. The eec was evolving into a political power.

In the meantime, Rome had been busy. A Polish pope, John Paul ii, had joined forces with the conservative U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, and a similarly conservative British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, and with the combined efforts of four security services—the cia, Britain’s mi5, the German bnd, and the Vatican’s Jesuits—succeeded in splitting the Soviet Union apart using a Polish trade union organization, Solidarity, as a front for their covert, anti-Soviet activities.

The collapse of communism across Central and Eastern Europe, beginning in Poland and later symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, resulted in Germany’s unification, ending more than 40 years of geographic and political division of that country. By October 1990, East Germany was part of the EU. The old Cold War hiatus began to give way to a new aggressive extension of the EU’s borders eastward, ultimately clear up to the great Ukraine Plain.

This expansion accelerated when Germany and the Vatican caused the Balkan Wars of the 1990s by recognizing Slovenia and Croatia as sovereign nations separate from greater Yugoslavia.

In the meantime, the eec, under pressure from Germany, trotted out a series of treaties in quick succession, giving further force and weight to the true political motives of the creators and developers of this rising European empire.

The treaty of European Union, known as the Maastricht Treaty, was signed in Maastricht, Netherlands, on Feb. 7, 1992, by all eec members. The principle changes to the Treaty of Rome were a name change from eec to the European Community (EC), and agreement on cooperation in matters of defense, justice and home security. This was the European Union Treaty. Ever since, the old eec has become known as the European Union, a name that, without the term “economic,” has a much more political ring to it.

All of a sudden the innocuous eec had three pillars underpinning its future integration: economics, politics and now defense.

From Maastricht Back to Rome

Less than six years later, the Treaty of Amsterdam amended the Maastricht Treaty 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 the 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.

From Rome to Berlin

The celebrations will be grand, indeed, in Berlin on Sunday, March 25, when the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, hosts 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 remains to be seen if Germany, now in the middle 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 the German chancellor. 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 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 in dealing with the nation’s deep systemic economic problems. While she may well ride the train of popularity on 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.

Iron and Clay

As Merkel and all Berlin bask in that limelight on March 25, watch for when the hoopla ceases and reality dawns. Already, significant fractures are visible 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 than 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 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 its 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