Sixty years after its founding treaty, the European Union is far from the stability, the legitimacy and the concerted development that its leaders had guaranteed a few years ago. On the contrary, on the eve of Brexit negotiations, which served as the alarm bell of how unpopular “European project” really is, it seems that the E.U. has entered into a fatal crisis. Its very existence is in question.
To be sure, one should keep a clear mind about the widespread “catastrophism” going around. Nonetheless, there have been an accumulation of obstacles and setbacks that were not the result of chance.
I’ll enumerate them here, and this is not an exhaustive list: the persistent weakness of the euro and accumulation of debt, followed by a response inflicted upon Greece that proves the political and financial powers do not understand (and no doubt will not understand) the solution; the refugee tragedy and the dishonorable agreement with Turkey, which only temporarily moved the border from one place to another; crushing austerity, which accelerated the de-industrialization of territories, shifted competition to the bottom (to workers of different nationalities) and destroyed welfare resources; the inability of parliamentary institutions to govern the crisis, which, from one country to the next, led to the discrediting of politics in its traditional forms.