A sorry day for Europe

One thing which nationalistic parties never explain to their voters is: how do they plan to address environmental issues in the national frame, since fluid emissions make borders a joke? How do they plan to manage migrating resources – birds, fish – by legislating in their national parliaments? How do they plan to keep their national businesses exporting freely with an unravelled common market, while proning “smart” protectionism and economic patriotism? And why should they come with an explanation those voters never ask for? All this sounds like nice music to their ears. Never mind if it could have disastrous consequences on their own lives. People like being told their woes is by no means their own fault, only someone else’s.

I am, of course, talking about the recent election to the EU Parliament. The outcome looks really sinister, especially in my own country, France. As the distribution of seats looks like, the two major parties will still dominate. Yes, the very same parties that have a lot to be held responsible for regarding the Union as it works today – ACTA, the hold-up on Cypriots’ savings to save Cyprus’ banks and so on, does all this ring a bell? But what is infinitely more worrisome is the rising of the far right. Marine Le Pen got 25% of the French votes, crushing the major parties in France. The fact that she admires Vladimir Putin, an autocrat who riggs elections, uses force to silence minorities, denies part of the Russian people basic rights, should make people with an averagely well working brain think twice before voting for her. But you don’t need a brain to express a frustration, no matter how dire the consequences might be.

So is the future predictable? Part of it is, indeed. With the same parties steering the EU ship, there is no reason to think the latest tendency will reverse. The Union – which allows us to trade freely, contributing to our own wealth, to study abroad, to improve our buying power through competition – will be all the more despised. People will continue to blame foreign people, institutions, etc. for the consequences of their own behaviour. Doesn’t this ring an alarm bell? The foundation of the peaceful heritage its founding fathers have bequeathed to us is turning into quicksand.

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