Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Fix Europe to put the world first

It is very tempting to respond to nationalist campaigns by Trump supporters or pro-Brexit campaigners by shouting "Europe First." But we would be falling into their trap. We must not build a new nationalism based on Europe. Against conventional wisdom, I believe it would be possible, we just need a high enough propaganda budget to influence the hearts and minds of ordinary people. That is how most nationalisms have grown over time in many places. No: we must have more and better Europe, a better European Union and Euro zone, with the objective of contributing to making a better world. Europe is an example of freedom, respect for human rights, well regulated free trade, and support of social policies. The best version of its model is an example for the whole world. More than a two-speed Europe, we need a conglomerate of institutions at the right speed each of them, but at least the countries in the eurozone should benefit from a fiscal union with a decent budget to promote investments, transfers and growth. A stronger Europe will be able to be a force for the great causes of humanity, like fighting climate change or eliminating fiscal havens. Without more Europe,  nation-states and their citizens will be small boats in the middle of a storm in the ocean. No human being is more than another one: European citizens should not have more rights than citizens from other lands. But citizens from everywhere will benefit from a stronger and more democratic Europe, as they have already benefited in the last few decades, with the elimination of the risk of war in those countries belonging to the EU. Instead, those countries that are not in the EU, even if they are in the European continent, have not avoided war, as it happened in Yugoslavia and Ukraine. The stability provided by a more integrated Europe is a global collective good.

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