Europe Day: not a day of celebration (yet)

by Erik Edman

What does it mean to love Europe, and what does that love, in 2018, demand of us?
The European project was borne out of an initiative well worth a dedicated day of celebration: the end of war in Europe. The project conceived for this task, albeit ingenious, harboured within it the poison that would cause it to whither: economic integration, without political unification. By basing the entire project for unifying Europe on trade, the path towards the neoliberal and politically inept European Union that we have inherited today was written in the stars from the moment of its beautiful inception.
So on this “Europe Day” let’s reflect on what kind of a Europe we have, why we have it, and how to move towards a new one that can make us proud to be a part of. A political structure controlled by the interests of capital and deadlocked by political games between member states makes a mockery of the European dream of a united continent of solidarity between its peoples. It is a structure that stands in the way of creating the kind of EU that can deal with the challenges we face: environmental and financial crises, the rise of xenophobia, authoritarianism and geopolitical unrest. That resilient EU can only be based on democracy, where Europe’s citizens can hold Europe directly accountable for its actions, and directly elect those who control its direction.
A democratic EU: now that warrants a celebration on Europe Day! Until then, every Europe Day spent under an EU that betrays the democratic principles of its citizens, and acts as the architect of its own disintegration, is a cause for demonstration. That is what our love of Europe demands of us: opposition and a creative re-invention of a doomed EU.

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