From a european crisis to a more united Europe

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?

Join the debate about the EU Internal Enlargement

The EU internal enlargement will be the process that will happen when one of the nations currently within a European Union member state democratically becomes a new state. Countries like Scotland, Flanders, Wales, Euskadi or Catalonia are amongst the candidates to become new states within the European Union.

From April the 1st European citizens are able to create European Citizens’ Initiatives and submit them to the European Commission so that they are assessed. If accepted and the minimum amount of supports is achievedthe EU will be forced to position itself regarding this issue and legislate accordingly.

Since the Internal Enlargement is a process that could potentially alter the borders of several member states the EU has traditionally chosen to avoid positioning itself about it even though it seems hard to imagine that a democratic independence process could ever be rejected.

So this initative is a way of forcing the EU to position itself and make the whole process more clear and democratic. If this initiative is accepted (the European Commission has two months to make a decision) then a period of 1 year will start to collect supports. Then the organisers will need to collect at least 1 million supports from European citizens in at least 7 different EU states.

Even though the European Citizens’ Initiatives have to be made by citizens and not political parties or organisations these can still back them. In this case, Joan Carretero, leader of Reagrupament, a catalan association and party, is the representative of the Citizens Commission that has launched this initiative which is also backed by Reagrupament.

This is a good opportunity to raise awareness internationally of the situation of the several stateless nations within the EU. In this case Reagrupament have been very fast to act since they have submitted the Initiative on the first possible day making use of the democratic tools at our disposal.

Personally I think it is also an opportunity to raise awareness that the Internal Enlargement is a European issue, especially since in some cases, like Spain, the member states do not acknowledge the nations within it and therefore the EU should act as a referee to guarantee the democratic rights that the members of stateless nations have as European Citizens to use their right of self-determination. is the official website created for the European Citizens’ Initiative.