French and Dutch Rejection of EU Constitution
Commentary for June 7, 2005 — A Setback for Mistaken Interpreters
The rejections to ratify the European Union (hereafter EU) constitution by French voters on May 29th and by Dutch voters on June 1st, 2005 were a severe blow to those prophetic interpreters who mistakenly believe that a united Europe is the beast power spoken of in Daniel and Revelation. In no way is this possible. As Dr. Martin has written, those 10 nations are clearly delineated in Psalm 83 and are nations that surround Israel. See in particular the article “The Prophesied State of Palestine.” (And no, Western Europe is not made up of nations from the 10 “lost tribes” of Israel.)
These mistaken interpreters think that the 10-nation beast power will be Europe as a resurrected Roman Empire. However, as I have shown in the article “ The Ten Nations and the Roman Empire,” the Roman Empire was founded and maintained as a Mediterranean empire and not as a European empire.
Even after the western portion collapsed, the eastern Roman Empire (which considered itself to be the successor of the Roman Empire, although Greek in language and culture) continued for another 1,000 years and had its base of power as the eastern Mediterranean. This “Mediterranean” nature of the Roman Empire was fully understood by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century C.E. who reunified the lands surrounding the Mediterranean basin under his power. However, he was unable to maintain control of those coastal lands due to constant wars, plagues, famines, and natural disasters that depopulated both the Empire and the entire Mediterranean basin for the next 150 years. The resulting depopulation set the stage for the Muslim conquests bursting from Saudi Arabia.
Political unity has been seriously hampered by the French and Dutch rejections of the European constitution. For the constitution to take effect a unanimous approval by all nations is necessary, or so it is reported. With the strong “no” vote by central members of the EU, a new (and simpler) constitution must be written. Political unity is at least delayed about 5 years, maybe longer, and it may not even happen at all.
One reason the constitution was rejected was because it is hundreds of pages long. See the entire text: “Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe.” A new constitution must be shorter, more representative and responsive to the people. These rejections of the constitution also put a stumbling block into expansion of the EU by addition of new members including East European countries and Turkey. Things are not going well.
There are 25 full-member nations in the EU. The United Kingdom is a member, but does not use the Euro currency, nor does Denmark. Europe has other problems as well: Europe’s population is growing very slowly (and in some countries is decreasing), unemployment is an increasingly serious problem, large-scale immigration of workers from poorer to richer countries is causing great resentment among native-born peoples, while bloated bureaucracies and extreme taxation are a heavy burden for member nations, individually, and collectively as part of the EU.
The errant prophetic interpreters will no doubt “prophesy” that a strong leader will arise to unify the European population, who they identify as the King of the North. While a strong man is always possible, Europe will not be the “North” and any potential strong man will not be their king. Europeans at present do not care much about religion. (This is probably best, considering the non-biblical teaching of most churches.) The churches are mostly empty and largely state supported by their respective national governments.
What a mess! Some countries are full members of the EU, others are not. Some use the Euro, and some do not. Some countries are in NATO and some are not. NATO has 19 member nations participating in its military defense organization, while 7 other nations were invited to join in 2004 and three more asked for membership. France is not a member of NATO. Europe is not unified in any sense —religiously, politically, economically — and it is militarily weak. Militarily, Europe has no potential enemy as a threat, therefore no real military power is needed except for police-type interventions into nearby countries. These interventions (such as into Bosnia in the 1990s) have been conducted through NATO and not through the political organization of the EU.
It is now clear (to me at any rate) that politically Europe will form a confederation of states that will have a less unified structure than the United States. Their military power will be limited by their lack of political cohesion and will likely be expressed through NATO, which has a different set of member states (which will limit its effectiveness). The diminishing of protectionist barriers (a major reason for the European Union) will continue because of the great economic benefit to most all participating countries. It is this economic benefit and cooperation that will make Europe a power in the coming years, even more so than at present.
As Dr. Martin pointed out, it is the economic cooperation within and among the states that comprise the United States that is the true basis of its power and strength, although natural advantages of geography help greatly. See the two articles “The Secret of United States Economic Success,” and “The Power of the United States.” The extent that Europe will have such economic cooperation will determine its future prosperity and power.
The EU will not be strong militarily, but it will have great economic and political power to the extent that its economic power can be used as a weapon. (This may be the warfare of the future.) At present the nations of Europe can only militarily police their own countries and have an extremely small ability to project its power abroad, certainly not over an ocean. NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has a membership that differs from the EU and it is a shell of its former military readiness and power as member nations decreased manpower and equipment contributions after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The EU nations, including the United Kingdom, have a small combined navy that is incapable of transporting and sustaining a military operation outside its borders.
The loud French and Netherlands “NO” vote on ratification of the EU constitution means that the French and the Dutch are not willing to give up their national sovereignty for a small benefit. Their allegiance is not to Europe, but to France and the Netherlands. They identify with their homelands first, and want to maintain their voice in decisions that are made. They would have lost their voice under the rejected EU constitution. The EU was designed to overcome and suppress nationalism. It has not done so.
Those who look to race to identify nations should return back to what the Bible has to say about prophetic identification of nations. Prophecy will be fulfilled with a focus on the Middle East, particularly in the lands of Israel and her neighboring nations.
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