Europe should be fixed and not destroyed
The European Union was a product of the Second World War. Its basic philosophy was to integrate the different European economies, hoping that in the long run political integration would result. As an economic entity, the EU is immensely succesful in terms of growth of firms, jobs and income. Many poor states cought up at an amazing speed, like the former Eastern European countries. With it came free movement of people, looking for jobs. The Euro was introduced in order to strengthen the power of de European states.
But cracks in the construction turned up. The Euro lead to a great divide between northern and southern countries. Free movement of workers was supported by eastern member states but despised by the people in western states. Many nations grew wary of the influence of the EU on their political realm, not acknowledging that the EU is both a form of co-operation between states and a new state itself. The European Constitution in 1995 revealed a huge breach, in France and The Netherlands. Since then, infidelity is growing. The UK leaves the Union, in several states political parties gather support for leaving the EU, and differences in views of the future between states grow in importance. Many people don’t remember the war or the huge antagonisms between European powers. Europe is for more and more people “them” and not “us”.
Don’t break it, fix it
With frightening speed Europe is moving towards confrontation and collapse. We forget that there is an outside world, with growing mega powers, against whom individual European nations, even the strongest, have no effective answers. We can let Europa fall apart. But I think we ought to fix it, somehow. With this blog I want to contribute to debates about Europe’s future.
Arjen van der Burg