Enrique Barón Crespo
05/22/2019 00:13 Updated 5/22/2019 7:21 AM
In these European elections, 500 million citizens and 28 states are risking our shared future. We are faced with the dilemma of being able to complete the construction of the condominium in which we live in the face of its dismantling by nationalists and populists who advocate a return to an idealized past, each one in its hideout.
It is an option that tests the creative solidarity work of the Union as closely as possible in a context of growing political tensions, with frontal attacks on its very existence in which, unfortunately, its greatest partner and ally stands out. The policy of blasting by President Trump of the multilateral order created after the Second World War, in need of reform and reinforcement, requires a strong and active Union in the political and economic spheres. For his part, President Putin intoxicates the campaign and does not hide his help to right-wing nationalists. China raises its own multilateral order and is a major rival.
To survive and advance, we must have our means and our will. We Europeans know that the spark of war, commercial or hegemonic, can generate fires in the most unexpected way.
The first reason to vote is that we are the ones who must decide from our values if we want to continue the patient work of weaving step by step in solidarity the united Europe that has provided us with the longest period of peace and prosperity from Rome.
We must consolidate a common foreign and security policy capable of responding to the geopolitical challenges surrounding us, faithful to our vocation to defend the multilateral order embodied in a UN in need of reforms, not destruction.
In the internal development of the EU we must complete the monetary union and strengthen the economic union. In this regard, two figures of the latest Eurobarometer are revealing: 68% of citizens argue that belonging to the EU benefits them and three out of every four citizens are in favor of the euro. The example of Brexit shows us how difficult and expensive it is to break the bonds that unite us. For that reason, the proposals of return to the franc of Le Pen or to the lira of Salvini lasted only the spent in pronouncing them. Stronger was the claim of Salvini to make a debt relief in Italy, just in the same way as the authoritarian Orbán and Kaczynski defend with as much or more zeal the money teller machine of Brussels than their pretended saving crusades.
The euro needs to be strengthened as currency with a European Monetary Fund, a Treasury that backs it and a budget that allows the development of countercyclical policies that guarantee growth.
At the same time, the European Union must actively reinforce its technological innovation policies in the digital, energy and artificial intelligence fields, key to the future. The example of aerospace Europe shows that together we can be leaders.
A new European social contract is another of the central challenges. The recovery after the crisis must be completed with a reduction of inequalities. Especially in the face of young people. When you have, as in Spain, still 35% of youth unemployment we cannot simply congratulate ourselves for having emerged from the crisis; the European experience is instructive. In addition, there are two new priority social dimensions: realizing the emancipation of women in terms of equality in work and society and responding to the powerful youth impulse in the fight against climate change. In both, the EU is a pioneer.
The Schengen area, dimension of freedom of movement and security without borders that corresponds to the internal market, has to be completed with the establishment of an external border defended and guarded by Frontex. Migration and asylum policy should be developed in the community framework with solidarity and shared criteria to incorporate young sap and respect our values. In this context, the relationship with Africa is a priority.
The Europeans who built the Union have been able to amend our history and create a supranational democracy with common values and joint will. For now, the British are still voting and participating in the effort.
Now we have the challenge of crowning our monetary, economic union, with politics through a federalism of conviction and above all of obligation. There are instruments allowing for it, the issue is just wanting and knowing how to use them. That is why it is so decisive to achieve an Europeanist and progress majority in the European elections.