Despite some limitations, the white paper on the future of the EU provides an excellent basis for debate, writes activist François Dupont.
The impediment imposed by the EU itself on its “white paper on the future of Europe” is to have released it with so little fanfare. The effort of the present author, writing a year after the document’s publication, is neither soft nor savage, but rather the response of a Gepetto – carpenter, father and reserve officer – who wants no more of the institutional Pinocchio who disregards the lives of 513 million European Citizens, and would prefer a sixth scenario to any of the five proposed for 2025. There is an asocial dearth of democracy in the EU, and prosperity is all too sparingly shared with citizens, because it is governed by conflicting, rival intergovernmental bodies, and not a European rule of law accountable to them. Enough of this “European Cup of States”, with one champion and 27 losers every year.
Macron and Varoufakis, one better at explaining how, and the other why, want to revamp the EU, give its sovereignty to the United States of Europe. Moving away from this multipolar existence of federal giants, savages, icy dragons, fire-breathers, twits and cunning strategists. It’s no secret that Madame Merkel is a wiser grocer than Thatcher, but, as far as the Franco-German couple is concerned, the recipe for her pro-European wishful thinking is calculated by and for german mercantilism, not for Europe itself. Margrethe Vestager is European.
The EU has to rid itself of all the local state-nationalist dross that permeates its decision making institutions. The rest of the EU machine is fit for the service of European Citizens if the “28 rival heads” are replaced by one head which is intelligent and democratic, and can face up to the US and China, and maintain friendly relations with the Middle-East and Africa. The European Council should give way to a European Government which is always accountable to the Parliament.
There is nothing divine about changing the instrument of European power, and it will not be dictated by the rest of the world. Evidently, if European elections had followed a unique electoral code since 1979, that of the European people and not of egoistic states, the Juncker Commission’s white paper would have aroused discussion all over Europe, upon its appearance in March 2017. Instead, millions of copies still languish on the shelves of Eurodesk offices across Europe. But please, see for yourselves, fellow citizens, it’s not too late to seize the opportunity.
Pulse of Europe, active in Aachen on Thursday May 10th 2018, as ARTE’s news program showed in the evening, is not just another pro-European think tank. Or maybe it is, but one for all the streets of Europe, whose ideology and interests may seem somewhat simple in its charter: “not wrecking the EU, but improving it”. Its political power, collectively constructing a Polis ad vitam aeternam while respecting the European Regions, is a federative power which will be anything but quiet after the May 2019 elections. Neither marxism nor financial ultra-liberalism; neither corruption nor tax havens. Modifying European power, reorienting it in a direction that is useful and pleasing to all, like Norway knows how to do for itself, is possible. Using the ECB differently, then, is possible too.
The hour for the United States of Europe has sounded, and all Europeans conscious of being Europeans, including the British, know that making a simple copy-paste of the USA, or adopting the posture of present-day Russia, are not solutions for refounding political Europe. From the 2019 European Parliament there should emerge a constituent assembly, not some mere convention for a modified TEC, empty as that of 2005. Courage and reason: we need both, and we’ll prove we have both if we make an EP2019 which resonates with a European civil society welded to it.
The future of Europe, of our children, is in these European Citizens’ hands of ours. We must recognise the responsibility: it is we who are shaping this future, and we have a year, not fifty to reshape it.
Translated by Ciaran Lawless
Factual or translation error? Tell us.