Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The need for a common European public opinion

Michael Kyriakidis

Chief editor,  Metarithmisi, e-magazine


The economic crisis has demonstrated that Europe is far beyond its integration. It focused attention on many of its weaknesses. A typical example of those weaknesses is that, at first, crisis was blamed on the “bad Greeks” and later on, after it has spread to the whole European south, on the “lazy southerns” that do not work as much as they should.

Long and precious time was wasted before the leaderships of the EU countries realized that despite individual responsibilities of certain European regions, the problem is deeper and is in need of more radical confrontation and of different kind of strategies.

What is then to blame? People say that there are no more of the great leaders, who in the past decades would have the courage to make important decisions in the appropriate moment. Maybe! In my opinion, the cause is deeper. It depends on the fact that this historically original attempt of the EU, is not yet complete, because even the efficient leaders of the past decades, did not manage to make the necessary steps that are needed. (Do you remember the “No” to the European Constitution?) In the same time, people of Europe stayed out of the game, staring as an audience of the European elite, which often was and still remains bound to “national” policies.

It is about time to create a common European public opinion, which will discuss and form views and policies, away from the “national” logic that does not allow us to observe EU’s problems in depth. It is obvious that the economic crisis is not due to “bad people” of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy… etc., but due to deeper structural problems and especially due to certain policies. It is the result of the neo-liberal policies that have prevailed in Europe and universally. The fact that the European Center-Left has not managed to propose an alternative and realistic plan for “exit” from the crisis, has also played an  important role in the lack of overcoming it so far. A plan of economic policy which will protect the 
weaker and the middle class from any “turbulence” that may happen in the Economy.

It is about time to discuss, seriously and widely, all the European citizens, on common policies. 


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