Today, for many people, the European election represents an exercise where political figures are imposed on them, and also where citizens of the continent are regularly asked to vote for Members of Parliament whom they do not know, whose actions they know nothing about; and who are, for the most part, past glories or false hopes for the future. Nothing is more meaningless.
It is even more so when we know that such Parliament is mainly utilized, in a fictitious way, to participate in the selection of members of a Commission and to implement laws, which in fact are decisions that are finally taken by national governments during endless and obscure summits.
And even more so when we realise that once these European authorities are in place, they only deal with limited economic issues, from an ultraliberal perspective, which drives competition between Europeans at all levels, pushing for the lowest fiscal and social bids and doing nothing, or almost nothing, to build common projects.
I say “almost nothing” because the European Union has nevertheless built certain common projects that deserve to be supported, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Erasmus, Eureka, the Euro, the European Court of Justice and a few others.
It is time to reverse the trend, and do much more, on the world’s major issues:
In the next ten years, the United States and China will strengthen themselves in key sectors of the future; Africans, Indians, Russians, Indonesians, will begin to emerge as competitors and no longer just customers. Countless ecological threats will be escalated. Countless migration will take place in an increasingly nomadic world. And we Europeans can no longer expect anyone to help us defend ourselves against these threats and competition. We have become a prey and no longer a partner. Condemned, if we do nothing, to be carved, bled out and murdered. Without anyone coming to our rescue.
If we were to divide ourselves, could we defend ourselves better? Could France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary alone face these dangers? No, of course not. We need to pool our defences, border police, and our basic and applied research resources. We need to change our competition policy to promote the creation of European giants. We need to harmonise our social protection and corporate taxation policies as closely as possible. We need an investment budget of at least 3% of the Union’s GDP, earmarked for research– technological, educational, social, agricultural, territorial and ecological investments. We need to radically change the international tax treaties that limit the tax base of the GAFA group and their Chinese counterparts.
Will pooling together our resources to defend ourselves harm our national identity? No, of course not. It is very dishonest to claim that. Sharing will not affect our respective languages, cultures, education systems, autonomy of our territories, or our conception of secularism. Especially if France finally devotes the necessary resources to promote the Francophonie, which has often been forgotten and despised by many leaders and diplomats, for fifty years. It will also enable us to better defend our interests in the world and to influence the major global ecological, social, financial, ethical and political issues, from which we are increasingly absent.
These issues are what we need to debate now. It is what all the young people of Europe have asked, and they are envied by their peers in the world. It is also what bold leaders with a sense of the long term and a willingness to take risks should be dedicated to. If such leaders exist.