© Crédits photos: Libération

We should pay tribute to Donald Trump for waking up Europeans. If what is called “populism” is growing up, it is because globalisation, multilateralism, financialisation, digital economy, migrations, have an impact on many men and women who feel marginalised, destined to unemployment. Inequalities are raising and reference points are getting blurred.

Many citizens are not satisfied anymore and punish their ruling leaders. Brexit and the Italian vote of 4 March demonstrate it. The speeches of the “system” have become inaudible and feed the temptation of adopting inward-looking attitudes, calling for the borders’ comeback and the yesterday’s world.

Against the new challenges, EU Member States are prolonging the game and try to make citizens believe they still hold all their prerogatives of sovereignty. The demonstration of their powerlessness in essential areas infuriates the public opinion. Europe cannot resign to be a sham power only. The urgency is therefore to identify actions that cannot be undertaken at national level anymore, notably defence and security, climate protection, migrations control, digital, taxation. The warning level has been reached and the conditions are irrevocably gathered to acknowledge that a part of our sovereignty can only be exerted at the EU level now.

The deal that has to be built cannot be satisfied with economic and monetary considerations only. We cannot let the social pillar uncultivated. It is therefore on the basis of our values and our culture that the European project should be built. The coming months will be decisive. Let us hope that the break will bring serenity, lucidity and courage that are necessary in order to dare discussing our future and drawing the path that will give back confidence to everyone. The populism is the symptom of our European institutions’ loss of impetus. Let our national governances leave quickly their conservatism. We have never needed Europe as much as now.

A pleasant summer to everyone.
Jean Arthuis