Europe in a moment of major crisis. Crisis means opportunity. At the end of this crisis Europe should become (if it wants to still be relevant internationally) a real federation of nations.
One of the biggest obstacles for this are the state nations (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, ) which were created around the 18th century. Those were times of expansion, colonization and protectionism but nowadays we should move towards a federal Europe of the nations. The european nations must become a part of something bigger. I do believe that feeling European citizenship before being, in my case, Catalan is what we should aim for.
This process has already started, on one hand the current crisis has been caused by creating a currency union without a fiscal and political union, because the fear of nationalistic states to give up control. The imbalances between the different economical cycles without the tools to correct them through a unified fiscal policy is one of the crisis of the southern european countries.
Secondly, there is also, the north and south crisis. The northern countries, understandably, don’t want to keep subsidizing the south and have setup firewalls. The south must change its ways, tackle corruption and a different approach to working ethics.
Finally, the internal expansion. Catalonia, Scotland, Flanders, Wales, Euskadi, are some of the european nations still trapped within the borders of the old medieval state-nations. These nations need their voice to be heard in equal rights with all the other European nations. Without them Europe is not complete. And by allowing their voice to be heard Europe will show democratic respect to all cultures and nations within it. Internal expansion must become just as normal as divorce is now in civil law.
This will be the challenge of our time, to implement all these changes. To become Europeans before Catalan, French or German but still maintaining our culture and identity. If we can achieve this Europe will be in a position to be decisive power in the world and to influence. Otherwise a fragmented Europe will become irrelevant and impoverished.
I like the European lifestyle. Europeans have fought for centuries to achieve social advances and people’s rights and in my experience it is the continent in which people have the best chance of achieving a good standard of living. The model is not perfect, it is also very uneven depending on the country and is certainly threatened by the current crisis but is one to be taken into account.
To save it we must move forward. Towards a more fair society. We have to prove that this model is sustainable. I believe in Europe. Will Europeans be able to drop their nationalistic prejudices and become a united Europe?