“The Missing Scenario: there are alternatives for Europeans”

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, the publication of the White Paper on the future of Europe prepared by the European Commission does not match the great challenges facing Europe. The collection of vague scenarios presented does not clarify the political priorities of the Commission and are framed only in a paradigm of more Europe or less Europe while missing the only possible scenario we need: a social Europe able to reclaim common goods and deliver benefits that take account of the needs of people and not economic and private interests operating in a world of diminishing resources.

The Progressive forces cannot give up the battle to transform the EU. Therefore, MEPs of the Progressive Caucus have worked on proposals built around six priorities. In view of the forthcoming European elections of 2019 and several national elections in 2018, there should be some debate on the institutional future of the European Union. Democracy, social justice, social convergence, sustainability, solidarity and gender equality must be at the core of the deep change that the European Union needs. Against the choice between status quo and nationalism, the Progressive Caucus believes that there are alternatives for Europeans. These alternatives should be discussed further, completed with other political and social forces and put forward over the next period.

You can download the long version of the paper in English here: The Missing Scenario – There are alternatives for Europeans

The French version is also available at the following link: Le scénario manquant – des alternatives existent pour les Européens

A spectre is haunting Europe. It is Europe itself, led by the interests of the neoliberal financial oligarchy. Sixty years after the Treaty of Rome, the dream of the Union that dared to awaken for the first time in the fascist jails, has been betrayed. Europe remains a wealthy continent yet inhabited by an increasingly poor population. The austerity that has become the dogma of the Union from the 2007 crisis onwards has failed across the board and has resulted into growing inequalities. The poor have become progressively poorer, the few rich have become richer, the sovereign debts haven’t been regulated, and the disaffection of the citizens for the European Union has increased.

Vote after vote, either for a referendum or a national election, the political system known since the end of the second world-war is collapsing. Among the rubble arises an unscrupulous right-wing populism that does not offer a genuine alternative, but merely an immediate vent to the justified rage of the forgotten and the defeated.

The White Paper on the Future of Europe that the Juncker Commission has prepared is yet another searing disappointment. It is a text that commences on a just premise: the need to return to the founding values of the Union, as they had been imagined in the Ventotene Manifesto by Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi. However it fails to deliver diagnosis and substance, describing an empty future.The five technical possible scenarios for the evolution of Europe, are once again trapping us in a paradigm of more Europe or less Europe confirm that the role of the Commission is downgraded to a simple secretariat of the Council and the Member States..

As Member of the Progressive Caucus we advocate for the missing and only desirable scenario. The European Union cannot realize itself on the arid terrain of economic parameters, or on that of the single currency, but through a Green New Deal amongst the people based on its founding values: social justice, sustainability,  freedom of people and solidarity. This is the sine qua non condition to guarantee a future for the European Union.

It might seem an utopia to forward today this idea of Europe of the people, but it’s actually the only realistic perspective amid two suicidal choices. On one hand the proposal of the European Commission, the preservation of the status quo with few technical adjustments, will end up in accelerating the dissolution process began with the Brexit. On the other hand the nostalgic, dangerous and definitely impossible return to the twentieth-century nationalisms, ridden by right-wing populisms.

So to revive the European project the progressive forces must have an ambitious vision that goes beyond an intergovernmental system and implements a genuine Community method. This translates into a series of practical proposals that cover all the falling points of the idea of Europe as designed in these decades of cultural dominion of the neoliberal programme: investments centred on creating jobs, democratization of the European institutions by reviewing the treaties, policies of reception of refugees, a common European framework for fighting tax evasion and money laundering, a shift from austerity policies to a green transition and a new grand pact amongst the people which sanctions the predominance of social rights, education and common goods and a shared vision of sustainable development.

Against the alternative between the status quo and nationalism it is our aim, regardless of distinctions amongst groups, ecological, radical and socialists, to put in place a new project of Europe. In the secular history of the European progressive forces several proposals were conceived as utopias and were instead realized. It happened when those forces were able to place at the core of its vision the real needs of the people. Today the European people don’t need walls or bureaucratic fences placed to the protection of the establishment, but a network of values at the service of the collective interest. Without this commitment, Europe risks disintegrating at the next inevitable crisis.

By the steering committee of the Progressive Caucus – Guillaume Balas (MEP, S&D), Sergio Cofferati (MEP, S&D), Eva Joly (MEP, Greens/EFA), Curzio Maltese (MEP, GUE/NGL), Florent Marcellesi (Greens/EFA), Emmanuel Maurel (MEP, S&D), Dimitrios Papadimoulis (MEP, GUE/NGL), Georgi Pirinski (MEP, S&D), Ernest Urtasun (MEP, Greens/EFA)

English version, Euractiv: https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-priorities-2020/opinion/the-missing-scenario-there-are-alternatives-for-europeans/

Italian version, Huffington post :http://www.huffingtonpost.it/curzio-maltese/the-missing-scenario-ci-sono-alternative-per-gli-europei_a_22077119/

Spanish version, El Diario: http://www.eldiario.es/euroblog/escenario-omitido-Comision-Europa-alternativas_6_641545872.html