President-elect Emmanuel Macron managed to mobilize the democratic movement for Europe at the critical moment. The presidential elections in France are not anymore only a national but increasingly a European matter. The result should not be misunderstood. The European union is at stake. The present EU does not satisfy the president-elect of France. He wants to reform the union system or in case failed, a possible ”Frexit” would be taken to his agenda.
One generation of Eurocrats should be worried. Their first comments indicated that the EU has been rescued. This is a wrong conclusion. Based on the views and speeches of Macron and after Brexit, there is an urgent need for a new vision for the EU.
”Let Europe arise”, as Prime Minister of the UK Winston Churchill appealed in his famous and historic speech at Zürich university in 1946. That same appeal needs to be spoken out today. This may be Macron’s deepest vision. The Socialist model of a federal Europe, or ”A common European Home”, has lost its meaning as an utopian and centralized vehicle to unify the European nations states under common institutions.
The European union must be reanalyzed to cope with the globalization and well as with the needs of the citizens. The basic idea of integration developed in the course of the second world war has not disappeared. The conditions of which it should be promoted have changed dramatically. The collapse of the Soviet system eliminated the common threat and caused a problem of identity.
The lack of understanding of history may be one of the reasons why that European identity lost its attraction. Only a portion of the citizens were able to identify themselves with a new Europe based on the Maastricht Treaty of 1991. A certain kind of naiveté ensued. The sacking of Austria in 2000 for ”wrong” election results was a result of an arrogant worldview dominating the old political parties in the left and right holding power in the EU. The effort to push the Constitution was the second error of these Eurocrats which finally triggered off a negative process of right-wing populism.
It is the considered opinion of the author of this blog that Emmanuel Macron should both federalize the economic union but de-federalize the political union.The task is not only on his shoulders but he should take leadership. Europe should not become a second France but more like a second Switzerland. Only the president of France can make the choice.
"The more you understand the world, the higher your chance of shaping it".
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Valtiotieteen tohtori, suurlähettiläs, tasavallan presidentin entinen neuvonantaja, professori ja kirjailija.
Kirjoituksia saa lainata. Lähde on mainittava.