Europe has a shared past that dates back 2,000 years. Its influences have been the same, from Greek culture to Roman culture, the Church, the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, the emergence of Nation-States, the colonial period, the world wars… Despite recent immigration, its countries are racially and culturally similar, as Europeans quickly discover in their Erasmus student exchanges. It isn’t united in diversity6. It’s united in values.
As long as it focuses on its differences, each country’s sovereignty will prevail. And the more sovereignty stands at the country level, the less power the Union has. Until European citizens realize that their nationalism weakens the European Union, the region will be weak.
So Europeans must put Europe first. For that, though, you need a common project that everybody is excited about. But what is that project?
Equality of religion is the reason why Turkey should be a candidate to the EU, and why the European knee-jerk reaction against it isn’t right. But this goes both ways. All of the above are questionable in Erdogan’s Turkey, who has been in power for over 20 years, and who has led the country down the path of more authoritarianism, less freedom, and less equality. These are the issues that don’t make Turkey an imminent candidate to join the EU. Not the fact that it’s a Muslim-majority country.
Europeans’ inability to explain this is a calamity, rooted in the fact that Europe doesn’t talk about its common values, focused as it is on diversity and trade. The European Union doesn’t fight for anything. It doesn’t stand for anything. Until Russian tanks invade Ukraine.
European nations have been so obsessed with their own glorious past, avoiding war, and pushing economic growth, that most of them—especially the big ones—haven’t realized they are small nations yet. Once they realize it, they will be ready to shed their baggage: their national identities. Only when they build a European identity stronger than the regional ones will Europe be ready to unite. Will they become a true nation.
The first rule of a nation is that you need to decide what you stand for. The EU stands for human rights, but you never hear that. It’s not central to the discourse. Human Rights are not encapsulated into a catchy little sentence that everybody can recite. Until they become central to everything the EU does, Europe won’t unite around its values.
So here are five necessary ingredients to make the EU into a global superpower:
– Focus more on what Europeans have in common than on their differences.
– Put universal human rights at the center of European discourse.
– Make English co-official across the EU.
– Unify the military.
– Unify the foreign policy.
Without that, the EU will remain a backwater.By Tomas Pueyo – Source.
Europe should get better marketing and rethink the way it promotes its values. Too much right-wing politicians have abused this.