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Let’s rethink our position for the future

Von Peđa Grbin / 7. Oktober 2016
picture alliance / Zoonar | DesignIt

Wer oder was ist Europa – noch? Wir sind Europa! Es sei denn, wir machen weiter wie bisher. Ein Gastbeitrag aus kroatischer Sicht.

Three scores and six years ago, one of the founding fathers of European Union, Robert Schuman, delivered a speech, now known as a Schuman declaration, which called for a pan-European solidarity, or, in the words of Robert Schuman:  

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity

This declaration was a start of a process that created a new entity that brought peace, stability and prosperity to millions of people all over the Continent.

The process that first brought us European Communities and after that European Union.

Now, 66 years later, we are witnessing the fact that the pure lack of solidarity, more than anything else, is preventing us from moving forward in the fulfilment of this goal, because almost every single country in this huge European Union, now covering 28 states and 508 millions of inhabitants, is looking only after its particular interests, without even trying to see the bigger picture and interests of all of us, citizens of Europe. We are engaged in refugee and security crisis which is not, as some say, without precedents. We are engaged in the crisis that is comparable to the crisis we had before, but is used by national leaders as an excuse for their incompetence to deal with their national problems on their own.

Did we ever have this many refugees coming to European Union? Yes, 25 years ago, during breakup of former Yugoslavia and aggressions and wars that followed hundreds of thousands of refugees came to the European Union and were given shelter by its composing states.

Did we ever have this many terrorist attacks as we have today? Yes, in the seventies, eighties, even nineties, terrorist attacks were a common sight all over Europe. Bologna massacre, Munich, IRA bombings in London was never followed by calls to stop or reverse the European integration in a way we are being called today.

This is the reason I had to revert to the speech that started it all.
70 years after the end of WWII we still have to remind ourselves that the idea of ever closer European integration was not created to be here for us when things are in perfect order. European idea was started to prevent us from reverting to state of war, to state of constant bickering and fights among us, Nations of Europe.

I’m writing this text on the day of the seventy second anniversary of the D-Day and I not only can’t, but don’t want to accept that the process of European integration, centered on the idea of creating an ever closer union can be stopped. This is the process that has to continue and has to endure all the challenges we are facing today, because what we are now facing, when compared to the challenges our ancestors faced seventy two years ago, seems nothing more than the dust in the wind.

And because of that, we have to rethink our positions for the future:

       Europe has to be built on pan-European interests that take in consideration national interests of European states, rather than on particular, national and nationalistic interests,

       Europe has to be built on the principles of solidarity among its member states and on the principles of international solidarity,

       Economically speaking, Europe is in position to help to people who are in need – the problem is whether Europe is politically willing to do so.

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