Serial Crisis: The European Union, this political construction of rock-solid resilience

Published by Guillaume Klossa Télémaque “European Pride Manifesto for Future Civilization”.

Survive the whirlwind of history

The time of European civilization and the time of European unification are not one. One is many millennia, the other is still counted in decades But, in a kind of acceleration of history, the two lines seem to meet today.

In the eyes of many extra-European observers, the continual crisis from the turn of the millennium should have contributed to the improvement of the European Union. The Nobel laureate in economics, Krugman, predicted the end of the euro, again showing that a certain American left, seeking only to capture the Union through economic rationality and American experience, does not necessarily hold the key to understanding Europe. Kishore Mahbubani, a great Singaporean statesman and Asian emergence theorist, believes that the Union has now surpassed power and relevance by Chinese and Asian values. Chinese leaders, American elites, Russian oligarchs, Asian intellectuals, economists, geopolitics and political leaders have worked tirelessly for a quarter of a century to predict the demise of European project fatigue. Some, from Trump to Putin, even Johnson, do not hesitate to make their personal contribution to weakening the union.

Fatigue is also hidden from within. Even proponents of the European project, at least since the failure of the French and Dutch referendums in May and June 2005 on a draft constitution for Europe, have stopped carrying the divisive rhetoric of “yes, but”. “The EU will be great when …” We have changed the rules, changed the institutions, changed the policies, changed the staff, constantly explaining that the union must be restructured or radically changed. When choosing about the historically unprecedented success that European construction represents, it ignores what has been built for decades.

Europe’s success is, above all, best described by others: in 2016, President Obama described the European Union as “one of the greatest political and economic successes out there,” urging Europeans to be fearless. It protects and demonstrates fair pride.

However, under the weight of the crisis, Europe doubts. Not forgetting the polarization of opinion, the fragmentation of society, the volatile population, economic inequality, democratic delays, strategic indecisiveness, conflict of values, more or less unfavorable provocations towards neighbors, Europeans can only realize for themselves their weakness and shortcomings. .

Indeed, in recent years, two major crises have led to the collapse of the EU. Following the winning Brexit referendum, on June 24, 2016, Brexit in Chief Nigel Farage boasted that his country’s exit from the Union would have an irresistible domino effect. Polyxit, Grexit, Nexit, Dexit, Italexit, Frexit, the forces of the European crisis, as Richard Robert and Eli Cohen have described, could tragically end with the death of the Union.

Even more recently, the epidemic has raised suspicions about a European Union that has just emerged from an almost victorious sovereign debt crisis. From the first month of 2020, some of us thought that this epidemic, which was spreading at a high speed, would be a kind of crash test for the Union. Although the reaction of our rulers has given a sense of general chaos and a nationalist reflection, even among the heads of state and government are known to be the most rational and the most moderate.

“Solidarity or death!” “, Warns Jack DeLors, not to age with the rare and lively discourse and the educational personality of the contemporary European consciousness.

In fact, solidarity prevailed. In this case, as in the other, the union held. How it was stabilized in the face of the violent crisis identified at the beginning of the millennium. Because the division continues to threaten the union. Crisis follows each other at hellish speeds: the American war in Iraq in 2003-2004, the deep institutional crisis caused by the French and Dutch “no” vote in 2005, the conflict between member states and the economic crisis, the people’s revolt and the financial situation and its consequences for the eurozone. The instability caused by the Arab Spring of 2011, the subsequent euro crisis, which should have killed the single currency and sparked endless debate over the withdrawal from Greece, the crisis of welcoming Syrian refugees, the wave of Islamist attacks, populist uprisings … until the war on the eastern frontier of the Union.

As if that weren’t enough, for a decade now the Union’s neighboring powers, but even further away, have been constantly testing the resilience of the Union and the resilience of the Europeans. The acceleration by the Trump administration of re-focusing the United States on its interests and the pursuit by Biden is destabilizing our transatlantic reflexes. Johnson’s United Kingdom still wants to split us up to get new discounts. Putin’s Russia simply wants to neutralize us, even “Finlandize” us, using the words of Finnish-Estonian writer Sophie Oksanen. For the three Asian powers, they each have a clear and distinct purpose: Xi Jinping’s China wants to exploit us, Modi’s India wants to compete with us, and Erdogan’s Turkey wants to ransom us.

Outside of the states, there is this “new colonial initiative” (which included the first insights of French Senator Catherine Mourinho-Desaili) in line with the GAFA, their famous European predecessors who set out to conquer the East Indies. 16th century. These Big Techs whose power continues to grow now specialize in capturing economic values, human talent, financial resources, and the instability of industrial and democratic fabrics. As a result, the foundations of our European society have been directly weakened: liberal democracy and the social market economy. It is a major dimension of the dignity of individuals, in contrast to the European values ​​of the progressive establishment of surveillance capitalism, human freedom and autonomy. In short, the nightmare of an algorithmic democracy.

Internal tension and external pressure. The EU should have been given a chance to listen to its detractors and its enemies.

And yet, he holds on.

To find out the Guillaume Closer interview published in Atlantico, on the occasion of the publication of his latest book, click here

Read more: Auschwitz and Kolima, the trauma that made Europe so skeptical of its civilization

“European Pride Manifesto for a Civilization of the Future” from Guillaume Klossa’s book, published by Télémaque

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