« It will be the moment of new action and it will be the moment for new men: the moment for a free and united Europe », Altiero Spinelli “Si je savois quelque chose utile à ma patrie, et qui fût préjudiciable à l’Europe,(…) je la regarderois comme un crime.” Montesquieu
More than ever, the challenges we face today are worldwide: climate change, resource exhaustion and environmental destruction, economic and financial regulation, nuclear threat and collective security, fairer trade, peace-building…
In this new world, every European country is a small country. But we have one advantage: we have built together a European Union. It is a remarkable construction in which European nation-states, some even long divided by protracted conflicts, decided to be “united in diversity” and form a Commonwealth, a Community in the true sense of the word.
Striving for shared peace and prosperity, we managed to work together and combine forces, thus fostering unprecedented prosperity, democracy and reconciliation on the continent. National states gave away sovereign powers to institutions in order to reach common goals and an “ever closer” Union.
Unfortunately, whereas the formidable challenges of a manifold crisis demand common responses, drawn at least at European level, too many politicians fall tempted to believing in national salvation only. In a time of interdependence and a globalised world, clinging to national sovereignties and intergovernmentalism is not only warfare against the European spirit; it is but an addiction to political impotence.
Today things are moving in the opposite direction, towards a looser instead of a closer Union, towards a more national instead of post-national Europe. Throwing the Community spirit behind, Member states let short-term national interests cloud the common vision. They favour intergovernmental solutions above European solutions. Almost to the point of breaking up the Euro, the most concrete symbol of European integration.
We oppose this backward and reactionary direction. Europe has been yet again abducted – by a coalition of national politicians. It is time to bring her back. We believe that this is not the moment for Europe to slow down further integration, but on the contrary to accelerate it. The history of the European Union has proven that more Europe, not less, is the answer to the problems we face. Only with European solutions and a renewed European spirit will we be able to tackle the worldwide challenges.
Nationalism is an ideology of the past. Our goal is a federal and post-national Europe, a Europe of the citizens. This was the dream the founding fathers worked so hard to achieve. This was the project of Altiero Spinelli. This is the Europe we will go for. Because this is the Europe of the future.