Actuality

Is Europe falling apart?

Is Europe falling apart?

Is Europe falling apart?

1930s, 20th century. Europe. Post-war. After the Roaring Twenties, our continent is facing deep changes. Common trait: the national sentiment. In Germany and Italy it has a more extreme expression. But also in Spain or Portugal, among others, the far-right politics seemed to be the response to the expansion of Communism of Soviet Union and to the economic liberalism of  United States.

Nationalism involves a sense of isolationism. In practice, we think that “we are better alone” and that “we don’t need other people in order to live and develop.” In more radical sectors, there is even a feeling of superiority relative to other people/countries. Actually, it’s considered that “our way of thinking, our culture, our way of being, should prevail to the detriment of other people, which are considered inferior.” Going back to the 30s of the twentieth century, we know very well where this ideology led us…

Let’s stop for a while and look at the current scenery. In Catalonia there is an open talk about independence. In Italy, in rich regions as Lombardy and Veneto, referendums had overwhelming results in favour of more autonomy. In the Czech Republic, nationalists won recently. In Austria and the Netherlands, nationalism has increased too. In France, in the last presidential elections, we lived the unthinkable: the far-right discussing, on an equal footing, the presidential election. Well, and then we also have Brexit. At the same time, Scotland has clear independence intentions. On the other side of the Atlantic there are also isolationist intentions. Trump’s leadership has brought somehow a paradigm shift in US foreign policy, which naturally affected its relationship with Europe.

Over the last 70 years, Europe has experienced its greatest period of economic and social expansion since the end of World War II. It has its ups and downs, off course, however the union of Europe has consolidated peace on the continent and contributed for years of economic growth and social development. The European Union as we know it today, with all its faults and virtues, has contributed to the emergence of an European feeling among many of the citizens of the various countries. A citizen of any European country has a set of rights guaranteed in case of moving to another EU country and has the opportunity of work there and build a life. For instance, today we take for granted the free movement of people and goods, but if we look back, we observe the long journey that has been made so far and how difficult to conquer it has been. Could we imagine going to Spain and having border control again?

On the other hand, Europe can only aspire to be a relevant global player if it maintains and consolidates its union. The rise of China, the (still) dominant US position in some strategic interests, Russia’s energy relevance, will tend to claim all the protagonism on the main stage of global geo-strategic decisions, unless Europe has the capacity of stay united and get ahead too.

Is there a lot to do in order to consolidate a Europe which could be of all of us and for all of us, inclusive and supportive? Certainly it is. However, division probably is not the ideal way. When solidarity between nations no longer prevails and we start to contemplate our navel above all, we can not expect a bright future. We’ve already passed trough it, in the past, but it seems that we didn’t learn anything from it…

 

See you soon!

Marco Libório

CEO of UWU Solutions / Consultant / Teacher

blog@marcoliborio.me

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One thought on “Is Europe falling apart?

  1. David says:

    Hi Marco
    I very much enjoyed your write up and predictions. I have to say the desire for independence is not something that has just begun in modern day Europe after decades of settled unionism. These feelings are as old as man and the basic tribal instinct in all of us.
    The European Parliament has failed to create a “European tribe” Americans have it along with a local level of competitiveness but always the great American dream is passed down from on high. It’s debatable whether this actually exists but I digress.
    I consider myself the perfect example of a European. I watched as a child the expansion of Europe and the U.K. being included with an overwhelming vote and a wonderful party atmosphere. It meant certain peace for a generation that grew up with the worst horrors imaginable.
    I have worked, travelled and lived in almost the whole of Europe and beyond for more than 25 years.
    But, I am one of the people that agreed Brussels needed a wake up call. They constantly lost touch with the populace of Europe and refused to reform. The wastage and cost of this institution is out of control. But still they demand that us the “great unwashed” pay more and more taxes to support their unrealistic wages and working conditions.
    History will continue to repeat itself because those with the political power refuse to learn.
    The EU parliament is the modern palace of Versailles.

    When the Brexit vote happened I felt sure this would spark a change and a better era would be born. But what did I see? Spoilt children refusing to acknowledge their problem and making the promise that “Britain will pay!” “We will make them bleed” This told me the one thing I didn’t want to hear. They are not fit to govern. The correct response should have been “ok something is wrong” “let’s fix this”

    So now the pain begins and we the PEOPLE of Europe must battle to stop the rise of extremism and idiocy.
    Non of our countries will ever stop being European, we are European by geography and no one can stop ME from being positive and friendly to anyone I meet in what ever land I am in.
    The European dream is inside the people not inside parliamentary buildings. WE make the changes, great things are never achieved easily but for the sake of our future we must achieve this.

    A certain european.

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