Nature Parks – a Neoliberal EU Project

Published on Current Concerns, by Erika Vögeli /Switzerland, december 2010.

Nature parks are not a Swiss product, but an article imported from the EU. They softly join in all the strategies of neoliberal globalization proponents intending to dissolve the nation states. Privatization is their keyword, under which resources and land are taken away from the public control of states and/or municipalities. The second keyword should be called deprivation of the people’s citizenship, because privatization on the one hand and supranational structures on the other establish new bodies in private and commercial spheres of influence and decision-making beyond the political rights guaranteed by the state, which are thus to be curtailed on ever smaller spheres of influence … //

… Back to common sense: 

Nature and landscape have been maintained and protected by us for decades. If the whole thing was really about the promotion of the rural areas why not remember the investment aid fund for mountain areas, for example? This fund had last bulked up approximately 1.5 billion Swiss Francs. It granted innumerable interest-free loans for the construction of infrastructure which were always reliably paid back by the municipalities. This fund was dissipated in the course of the new regional policy – will now payments of the federation for the nature park projects be made with this money? This time however it would lack repayment. Until the cash box is empty? And then? Will the municipalities then be in charge? Or will we sell out our habitat to private investors?

We should recollect our own values and experiences. We should refrain from believing that everything new is per se an improvement. Switzerland made the best experiences with its investment aid fund. What about a revival of this genuinely Swiss and truly sustainable solution instead of EU projects which are so destructive for our democracy?

And by the way: The canton Uri, for example, would have to offer something more independent and more meaningful as EU-copied park regulations and further additions to the difficult-to-understand label salad. The canton offers popular folk theatres at which the whole valley participates – from the student to the head of the cantonal government – and which meet with enthusiastic applause of the audience. Moreover, such initiatives also offer the opportunity to make our youth familiar with more meaningful activities, teach them how important they are for their community and the bonum commune, teach them about their history and provide them with general knowledge instead of leaving them to the brainless cultural degradation of the American way of life. (full long text).

Comments are closed.