According to Dominique Moisi in this Project Syndicate article, Europeans are increasingly glorifying the past to compensate for the disillusion and frustration of the present and the uncertainty of the future. He argues that sixty years ago, a return to the past was precisely what European countries sought to avoid.
Dominique Moisi, a professor at L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), is Senior Adviser at the French Institute for International Affairs (IFRI) and a visiting professor at King’s College London. He is the author of The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World.
As a passionate European, for me this article was well argued. The conclusion was that greater European integration is preferable to a return to nationalism. But it’s not that simple.
Unfortunately, the article only tells part of the story. Bigger countries, like Germany and France, dominate the European agenda. Economic policies to support the Euro fail to recognize the diversity of the European economy. Germany has benefited enormously from the Euro but many countries in Southern Europe have suffered unfairly from austerity and massive youth unemployment. Similarly, for decades France has benefited unreasonably from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Whilst I’m pro-Europe, there’s an urgent need to reduce Europe’s bureaucracy. Also before there can be pressure for increased integration, there needs to be greater equality in the impact of the EU’s policies. Personally, I sense that Europe is not yet ready for more integration – the youth of Europe need to return to work first.