News > Changing Europe is the only way forward

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  • 6th July 2015 - 12:11 GMT
  • greece
Bridging EU decision making

Changing Europe is the only way forward

What happened to European “solidarity” and “unity”?

In 1950 the idea of a European Federation, created through the economic integration of all European countries willing to take part, was launched by the then French foreign minister, Robert Schuman. The idea was not merely an economic entity, but creating mutual dependence, peace and solidarity through integration.

In the words of 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.” It is this de facto solidarity the Young European Federalists are questioning today. In addition to the risk of a financial bankruptcy of Greece, we fear that the project of a single currency is at the risk of a political, democratic, and moral bankruptcy.

The ongoing crisis in Europe, and the mismatch between the European countries’ ability to bear the costs of a financial, economic and employment crisis has shown to be a difficult test to the core ideas of the European Union. A test it seems we are failing.

Time to ensure stability in Europe

Numerous commentators join us in our argument that ensuring fiscal stability throughout Europe requires a European Federation with fiscal responsibilities. The policies of the European Central Bank should ensure a responsible level of interest all over Europe. If one region loses out, measures must be put in place to ensure stability. In the US this is not called a bailout, it is the reality of a diverse economy. We need to accept this reality in the EU if we want to ensure peace, stability and unity in our own region.

Intergovernmental finger-pointing needs to stop. We need our leaders to take a collective responsibility for our future. None of the actors are without blame for the current situation: the institutions of the ‘Troika’, the Eurogroup, the Greek governments and the banking sector were all responsible for the path that brought us here. The only thing that matters now is that all take responsibility for our common future. All must understand that this common future requires structural reforms and tough measures on the one hand, but respect for human dignity and national democracy on the other hand. Most importantly, these actors must understand and acknowledge that they collectively created the Greek debt problem, and that it can now only be shouldered collectively.

With conflicts at our borders it is irresponsible of our leaders to accept the slightest possibility of a Greek exit from the Euro, or the European Union. If building the Coal and Steel Community was “the first concrete foundation of a European Federation indispensable to the preservation of peace”, then standing together now is a necessary requirement to fulfill this peace plan. No single national interest is ever more important than this foundational objective of European integration

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