60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

Anti-European movements seem to be enjoying a fair wind, not only in Great Britain but also here on our side of the Channel. This demonstrates how Euroskepticism has become a threat to the fundamental values of the common European life.

Although the EU considers itself a unity, it is unable to introduce a united policy. In the absence of such policy, it is impossible to overcome the growing economical and social inequalities between the citizens of the Member States.

The European Economic Community, founded 60 years ago, was meant to maintain and guarantee peace. More than ever nowadays, in an unsafe world where hundreds of thousands are fleeing the horrors of war, we should embrace and take care of this precious gift of peace. Though many people today are willing to step out of the union, this is not the moment. It would be reckless to put all of it on the line.

People may not forget that we have already so many years of no war experience. In our regions the EU also managed to protect democracy: the freedom of press, freedom of speech and a free choice of religion (those being just a fraction of the inviolable rights Europeans enjoy).

All Member States of the EU have to ensure democratic guidelines, and countries aiming to join the EU cannot hinder reform processes. This contributes to the broadening of democratic values.

Two essential aspects of the European Union are the free movement of persons and a single currency. Admittedly, they Euro Series Banknotes.pngare not perfectly elaborated; the Euro being the most commonly criticised aspect. However, in the Euro Zone, currency exchange disappeared along with the attached fees. We can cross the borders of all EU countries without passport control or visa requirements. It is really a pity that the last few months we saw the Schengen Agreement undermined. That agreement is the seal of proof for our ‘Union’, which assured a free movement concept within the internal borders, not only contributing to the economical dynamism but also to an inter-cultural exchange and thus to peace and understanding between different cultures.

No border control: Border crossing between two Schengen Agreement states, view from Germany to the Netherlands. The Netherlands begins at the red line added to the photo.

The ex-communist countries by putting up walls are forgetting what it meant to be inclosed and are taking on a very selfish attitude. Free movement across our internal border-states is necessary, but also an allowance for people and goods entering our community.

Map of Europe indicating the four member countries of the Visegrád Group

Visegrad Group, also called the Visegrad Four, or V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of furthering their European integration, as well as for advancing military, economic and energy cooperation with one another.[

All the Visegrád countries now have leaders who could be fairly described as national-populists. In Western Europe, their rhetoric would often put them at the far-right of the political spectrum: they typically reject migrants and Islam, and do not wish to reproduce the Westerners’ experiment in multiculturalism in their own countries. This has led to clashes with Western Europe, notably Angela Merkel’s Germany, and the European Commission, who have advocated the welcoming of millions of refugees and the distribution of thousands across Central Europe.

Furthermore, all these nations – with the exception of Poland – have made various pro-Russian statements, and implied that they would ideally want a reconciliation and reinforcement of economic ties with Moscow. This bodes ill for the maintenance of the EU’s sanctions against Russia, in retaliation for the annexation of Crimea, and which can only be maintained by unanimity. More generally, Trump’s traumatic surprise electoral win in the United States is likely to embolden Central European conservatives in challenging Brussels and Berlin’s leadership of the EU.

Central Europe according to The World Factbook (2009),[17] Encyclopædia Britannica, and Brockhaus Enzyklopädie (1998)

The area in which this is most apparent is perhaps demographics. Central Europe faces severe medium-term decline in the face of ongoing emigration – while wages have risen, they remain much higher in the West – and extremely low fertility, which goes from 1.3 children per woman in Poland to 1.5 in the Czech Republic.

As a result, the European Commission projects that all these nations, with the exception of the Czech Republic, will see a drastic decline in population between now and 2080, falling by as much as 25 percent. In Poland, this would mean almost 10 million less people. This will inevitably mean a weaker Central Europe in the world, with a rapidly-shrinking labour force obligated to commit an ever-greater share of resources to an exploding population of pensioners.

The case of demographics shows the weaknesses of Visegrád’s alternative vision for Europe. Borders and national sovereignty are indeed means of slowing change, including undesirable change. But in themselves, they would do little to halt Europe’s decline to an elderly collection of statelets on the western Eurasian periphery. No doubt more creative and forward-looking measures are needed to prevent such a scenario and secure a sovereign Europe’s place among this century’s leading powers.

Everywhere in Europe we have to face the problem of the older getting population. Europe shall need young men and women to strengthen our workforce. When we can help rescuing people fleeing for the horrors of war we should open our borders.

Therefore, we can only shake our heads when we hear that others plan on building walls. Europe is familiar with such division. We must not let it come to that point anymore. To question the free movement of persons, on anyone’s behalf, would be a major setback for this free and diverse community.

The EU is not perfect but it assures peace and safety in Europe. To criticise it, is legitimate. To destroy it, is not.

We cannot deny that reforms and innovations are needed to make the EU fit for the future. However, these reforms can only be completed through unity and cohesion and not through antipathy and inner conflict.

A strengthening of the European Union is very overdue.

Isn’t it a privilege to be able to call our neighbours our friends? To move freely without passport control? Not to have to exchange currency? And moreover: to live in peace?

For us Europeans, these privileges have become self-evident, just like so many other things in the EU. And yet so many are beginning to question it all.

With thanks to Vox Europe

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Preceding articles

Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses

Challenges and impact on freedom of movement within the EU

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Additional reading

  1. Migrants to the West #1
  2. Migrants to the West #2
  3. Migrants to the West #3
  4. Migrants to the West #6
  5. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  6. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  7. 2015 Human rights
  8. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  11. Problems by losing the borders
  12. Brexit: The mother of all uncertainties
  13. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts

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2 Comments

Filed under Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

2 responses to “60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

  1. Pingback: Une véritable Union européenne pour garantir le bien-être, la sécurité et la démocratie | From guestwriters

  2. Pingback: A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy | From guestwriters

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