A presentation by Andrew Brons to British Renaissance broadcast on Resistance Radio
I once explained to a class of students that the word Europe, on the one hand, and the words, European Union, were not synonymous. The word Europe, a continent, has a much wider meaning than the organisation called the European Union.
Of course, the European Union has had an unstated but consistent policy of treating the word Europe to mean the European Union. In that way, prospective member countries can be made to feel as though joining the European Union i.e. Europe would simply be finding their proper place in the world. Furthermore, countries thinking of leaving the European Union could be made to feel as though they were disowning their parentage.
More worrying, is the fact that some critics of the EU, in the United Kingdom, make the same mistake. “What has Europe done for us,” they might ask in an almost pythonesque way. “The sooner we leave Europe the better,” they might say. They might even claim (and I have heard them) “We’re British; we’re not Europeans“.
During the negotiations leading to Croatia becoming the twenty-eighth member of the EU, members of its Government and Parliament spoke of their ambition to become part of Europe.
I was a member of the European Parliament’s EU-Croatia Committee and I told the Croats present: “You do not need to join Europe; you have been part of Europe since time immemorial”. You are talking about joining a particular international organisation – something quite different.
So, what is Europe, apart from its use as shorthand for the European Union? Its etymology lies in Greek mythology. Europa was the mythological beautiful daughter of a Phoenician king carried off to Crete by Zeus, in the guise of a white bull.
The most interesting fact about the continent of Europe is that it is not really a naturally- occurring physical continent, like Africa, Australia or even North and South America. There is no obvious separation between Europe and Asia, except for the Ural Mountains. It is simply the Western third of a single land mass that might be called (and sometimes is called), Eurasia.
The distinction between Europe and Asia is a cultural, religious and ancestral one, rather than a physical geographical one. The people of Europe are not identical, ancestrally but there are strong ancestral links between some neighbouring countries and some ancestral similarities extending across the whole continent. Furthermore, most of the indigenous peoples have been at least nominally Christian, of one denomination or another, for more than a millennium. The languages of nearly all of the peoples of Europe are loosely related, apart from Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian and Basque. We share a common civilisation and cultural traditions. All of these of very important and of far greater antiquity than the sixty-year old European Union.
Whilst I am pleased that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, I am sorry to be leaving our friends and neighbours in it. I am immensely proud of being a European.