Bible prophecy is very clear that a monolithic political and economic union will arise in Europe at the end of this age. As a trigger to the time of supreme trial to come on humanity just before the coming of the Messiah, 10 powers (nations or groups of nations) in Europe, apparently in a moment of great crisis, will cede their sovereignty to one known as “the beast.”
Yet a former executive board member of the European Central Bank, Otmar Issing, recently described the concept of European political union as “an idea worthy of satire.” Why? Because, he said, “forming such a union implies nothing less than the end of the nation state.” According to Issing, to bolster economically weak nations at the expense of wealthier ones “would be a violation of the fundamental democratic principle of no taxation without representation. … This is hardly the proper way to create a democratic European Union.”
Issing was responding to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement in June that “we need most of all a political union, [and] that means we need to gradually give competencies to Europe and give Europe control.”
So, is the concept of a unified Europe the stuff of satire, or an ambitious, but realistic, dream that some of the most powerful people in politics are determined to see come to life?
The current crisis in the eurozone is only the latest in a long series of challenges that have risen repeatedly for decades, and none of those challenges has yet signaled the death knell of a rising Europe. Don’t bet on this problem killing the dream.
Merkel is leading the charge for those who advocate a strong Europe. “Those in a monetary union will have to move closer together,” she also stated in her June speech. “We always have to make it possible for everyone [to join], but we mustn’t stop because one or the other don’t want to come along just yet.”
This kind of talk makes other nations nervous. British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed not to allow the U.K. to be dragged into a European superstate that requires individual nations to yield sovereignty to Europe. “I am convinced that as Europe develops, we can protect Britain’s interests in a proper way,” he said. “If you think you can just establish a European Parliament and a flag and everyone will be loyal to it, that’s nonsense.”
So, is the concept of European political union no more than a satire? Really, it has the potential to be a nightmare for many people! But as nations around the world nervously watch this economic ordeal playing out—first with Greece, then Ireland, Portugal, and now Spain and even Italy—most people tend to watch such stories with nearsighted vision. Others, though, are looking long term.
We would do well to keep our eyes on what is happening in Europe, but in the context of history. The 20th century was formed in large part by dangerous and preemptive developments in the European economic and political arenas. And Bible prophecy—history written in advance—tells us that the 21st century will likewise be shaped by developments many economists and politicians would rather avoid.
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Ralph Levy.