THE EU AND THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD
The common market is having such a the continent of Europe that all European 20 nations want some form of associate status with the European Union. Even Russia expressed a desire to join. The Union is forming association agreements with the remaining European nations that do not hold EU membership. These nations will enact common market legislation. Some have linked their currencies to the ECU without having any say in EU laws. As this occurs, the EU’s sphere of influence broadens beyond its existing members. The EU is like a giant octopus; its long tentacles reach into the rest of Europe and beyond.
European leaders established the EFTA, or European Free Trade Association, whose members included Austria, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, in 1959. In 1984, the Luxembourg Declaration created a free trade area embracing the eighteen nations of both the EU and the EFTA. In 1990, the EFTA and EU foreign ministers opened formal negotiations to create a “European Economic Space,” where goods, services, capital, and people would flow freely between the countries of both groupings. The EEA represented the world’s biggest free trade area, with 380 million consumers. It accounts for 46 percent of world trade. In 1994, European leaders established the European Economic Area. It allows the EFTA countries to participate in the European single market without joining the EU. Since Austria, Finland and Sweden jointed the EU in 1995, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are its remaining members.
On May 7, 2009 the EU inaugurated in Prague the Eastern Partnership. It provides an institutionalized forum for discussing visa agreements, free trade deals and strategic partnership agreements with the EU’s eastern neighbors. Controlled directly by the EU Commission, its geographical scope consists of Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Russia accused the EU of trying to carve out a new sphere of influence. An EU official retorted by stating: “We’re responding to the demands of these countries, and the economic reality is that most of their trade is done with the EU.” The EU negotiated these various pacts to increase its stature and position in the world. According to Stanley Hoffman, Chairman of the Center of European Studies at Harvard: “Clearly the purpose of the whole effort is not merely to increase wealth by removing obstacles to production and technological progress, but also to increase Europe’s power in a world in which economic and financial clout is as important as military might.”
In addition, as EU legislation extends into these countries, they will come under the EU’s sphere of influence. They will have to adopt EU laws without any voice in EU government. The Antichrist will easily institute his political policies throughout these nations. The EEA exists as a regional grouping of nations in a common pact. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eastern European countries voiced their desire to join the EU. This event marked the beginning of a political identity for the European Union. Eastern Europe looked to the EU for aid and investment, as opposed to looking towards the US and they wanted associate status with the EU which they more than obtained.
The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EMFTA) is a free trade zone still evolving based on the Barcelona Declaration, a framework plan adopted in 1995 through association agreements between Brussels and each state bordering the Mediterranean. The countries participating include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority. The agreement involves trade, investment, and deep political reform which Brussels calls “approximation” of other countries’ legal and political institutions with its own. The aim is a “genuine free trade area as soon as possible.” The fall of Communism ushered in a New World Order, and thereby paved the way for the revival of the Roman Empire and the fulfillment of the prophecies for the “latter days.” An EU report on Eastern Europe in 1991 affirmed: “The map is being redrawn with the Community firmly at the heart of the new Europe. This Europe is to emerge as a new force in the balance of world power, a fact already recognized by the US of America, Japan, and the Soviet Union.
THE REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE
The EU bears many similarities to the Old Roman Empire. European Union leaders such as Former Belgian Prime Minister and candidate for Presidency of the EU Commission, Guy Verhofstadt classify the Union as an Empire.
In September 2007, a reporter asked Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso what type of political entity the Union will be after the Lisbon Treaty is enforced. Barroso responded that the European Union will not be a superstate, that it is a unique organization of free countries that are united, that started to work together in cooperation. He said that the national level is not enough for today’s problems such as climate change. “We are not forming a superstate, there is not such a risk, on the contrary what we are seeing is the formation of something different. The rationale for the reform is keeping the great vision of the founding fathers.”
He then called the EU “an unidentified political object, a very successful experiment. In the history of institutions’ we never had such a thing. Sometimes I like to compare the European Union to the creation of empires, because we have the dimension of empires, but there is a great difference from the empires that were created through force, we are the first non-imperial empire, we have 27 countries that decided to work together and pool their sovereignty.” Geographically, the EU lies within the Roman Empire’s old borders. The Roman Empire had its own currency and army. It used two languages for everyday communication: Latin and Greek. In the same way, the European Union recognizes French and English. The Roman Empire built roads throughout the whole of its empire. The Channel Tunnel, which links Britain to the rest of the continent, is “the first truly integrated pan-European transport system since the Roman roads.”
The EU’s has its own national anthem, which coincidentally is Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” and the melody for the Christian hymn “Faithful, Faithful We Adore Thee.” The EU has a motto, “united in diversity,” and even its own holidays. EU citizens celebrate May 9 as Shuman Day the date that marked the birth of the EU in the same way Americans celebrate the 4th of July. The EU’s flag mentioned earlier which is a circle of twelve stars on a blue background, depicts Judeo- Christian symbolism. The stars symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles, along with the twelve months in a year, and the Greek myth that speaks of the twelve labors Hercules performed to gain immortality.
THE EU CAPITAL
Some Bible scholars believe that Rome will become the headquarters of the final world empire. Although Rome is the city where the EU was established, and was the location of the conference on political union, it is not the capital of the new Europe. The capital is Brussels, Belgium, headquarters of the European Commission. Luxembourg is the financial and legal capital of the Union. The European Parliament meets in Strasbourg, France. Around the time of Christ, Belgium lay just within the Roman Empire’s northern border. It divided the conquered territory from the unconquered Germanic and Russian lands. In modern times, Brussels is centrally located between the EU, and eastern bloc nations. During the first advent of Christ, the world’s population lived primarily around the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, and Rome was central to the Empire. The final world empire will have a sphere of influence over many more nations.
The Antichrist’s headquarters change after the middle of the Tribulation. Daniel 11:45 attests: “and he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Near the time of the end, the Antichrist will move his headquarters to Jerusalem, which, besides being the Holy City, is more central to the world at large. The Antichrist will, at this time, be in control of the Middle East region.
Revelation 13:2 tells us that the Dragon gives Antichrist “his power, his throne, and great authority.” The European Union is evolving into a world power that will act as the launching pad for the devices of Satan. The Antichrist’s reign here on earth will mimic that of Jesus Christ. While society grows more in line with Christ’s warnings and natural disasters increase, the European Union evolves into the final world empire. Former US Senate Majority leader George Mitchell called “the economic integration of Western Europe the most important event of our times.” The idea of reuniting Europe has existed since the fall of the Roman Empire. The formation of the European Union will end up becoming the single most important attempt in world history.
The Scriptures specifically state that the Antichrist will raise the Community to its pinnacle of power. The Union will not be as powerful at the time of his appointment. From the signing of the treaty, the Antichrist will have three years to bring the Union to its height of power. This does not include his efforts before the start of the Tribulation. The lust for power that presently exists among Unionists provides the Antichrist with an opportune climate to pursue his demoniac ambitions.