Do not give up on Europe

The European Union is used to critics. More and more during the last months with the rise of an anti-EU speech. An article from the FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, re-published on Presseurop.eu, is giving a very critical point of view, suggesting a return to a nation-centered europe (what ever that would be), for the sake of nothing less than democracy. My personal reading of this paper is that the author is saying «Europe is complicated, people don’t understand it, people don’t like it, let’s forget it.» To which I reply “Minute papillon, that’s giving up easily…” I would like to make my point in detail and pick each point of the argument that I think is not accurately reported, but j’ai pas que ca  qu’à faire, therefore, I will just cherry pick some part of the text – I assume the fact that it’s a partial and selected response.

  • «It suffers no internal conflicts»: Really ? I don’t know which fantasy European Union the author is talking about, but if I know something about the real-world Europe, it is that it’s the playground of many conflict. Sure, it’s not ending up in world wars as it used to be, but European member states have many disagreements over a large range of issues.
  • «No citizen has ever been asked what he thinks»: Yes, dear citizens who thought you had a say in the EU affairs by voting in the multiples referendums, by electing directly or indirectly your representatives to the EU institutions, that was just a dream. According to the author, you don’t have your say, and even the lately introduced citizen initiative is but a mirage of democracy. Strangely, if we are told that citizen don’t have a way to express themselves, the authors does not care to tell us who/what then controls the EU.
  • «Europe must therefore be cut back to what Europeans still understand»: To finish, the european citizen is just not smart enough to understand Europe… The fact that Europe is the forgotten part of school programs or that national parties and governments are using Brussels sometimes as an excuse, sometimes as a great thing, sometimes as the enemy, certainly add to the confusion.
To conclude my quick comment, I will say that, of course, the European Union is in crisis and facing troubles nobody could have foreseen even a few years back. Does that mean we should give up on European Integration ? No. Because, a lot of those crisis (nationalism, reject of administrative staff – aka technocrats, …) is happening outside of the European Union too ; giving up on the EU will not solve the problems and make it even more difficult to find solutions.
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