Monday, May 26, 2014

Britain and France: we love you, let's stay together

The victory of the UK Independence Party in Britain and the Front National in France in the European election are very bad news. As the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, said, the situation is serious, very serious. Europe needs France and the UK. Of course, it needs much more, but these two countries are part of the essence of Europe. The two countries where nation-building from the state was more successful in the XIX and XX centuries are today the countries that threaten more the progress towards a federal Europe. Other countries were nation-building has been less successful (for a variety of reasons) are today more committed to the ideal of a united Europe: Spain, Germany, Italy. What can the non-British and non-French do? I don't really know, but if there is anything we can do, let's do it. Nation-states are obsolete, the UK and France without the European Union will not solve their current problems or their future problems. No European country will be relevant in the next decades unless we build a more united Europe. Our quality of life, our employment prospects, the deterioration of the planet's climate, financial instability, nothing has a solution in the context of the nation-state. Europe needs changes: we should discuss these changes so that a majority of the British and French population (those that did not vote for the extreme right and some of those who did, but who would welcome alternatives) are comfortable in our Union. But as with all nationalists, the response should not be to make national concessions, but to build a better federation that solves the people's problems.

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