Wednesday 22 September 2010

Should we save ‘sovereignty’ or the Europeans?

On the blog Se former à la communication européenne, Michael Malherbe opined that the Roma crisis has mobilised pro and anti-Europeans more than it has improved understanding of the European Union, in: Quels sont les effets d’opinion de la crise européenne autour des Roms ?

Lessons for the European Union are the aim of the “Romagate” series of blog posts, but Malherbe’s lack of optimism tells us that the mission is far from accomplished.

On his Coulisses de Bruxelles blog, Jean Quatremer points to one example of anti-European activism masked as pro-Europeanism, an article written by the French former foreign minister Hubert Védrine. What Védrine wants is an intergovernmental Europe, which daily proves its lack of effectiveness, says Quatremer, in: Le coming out souverainiste d’Hubert Védrine.

Luckily, some citizens are concerned enough to act, when they see the leadership vacuum among the heads of state or government, and the constant failures in the intergovernmental areas.

Jean-Pierre Bobichon recalls Viviane Reding’s defence of fundamental rights in the EU. The writer deplores that the conclusions of the European Council 16 September 2010 do not contain a single line about the treatment of European minorities in Europe. Why not draft a charter of rights and obligations for these populations, building on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights? Practical action is needed as well, in: Roms: l’Europe fait entendre sa voix.

The movement Sauvons l’Europe, which wants to save the European Union from descending into ineffective intergovernmentalism, has noted the likeminded Spinelli Group, established to promote the European general interest and a citizens’ Europe: Naissance du Groupe Spinelli.

Already 949 persons have signed the pro-European Spinelli Group manifesto, which states:

Only with European solutions and a renewed European spirit will we be able to tackle the worldwide challenges.

The movement Sauvons l’Europe meets today, 22 September 2010, to discuss 52 pro-European and progressive proposals. They are in the form of short sentences, and they have been sorted under three major headlines:

1. For a prosperous Europe
2. For a social Europe
3. For a European civil society

The merits of the individual proposals are open to discussion, but as a whole they remind us of a fundamental question:

Is it meaningful to try to save the ‘sovereignty’ of each European state, or better to promote the best outcomes for European citizens?

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Comments relevant to the topic discussed in each Grahnlaw blog post are most welcome. However, the number of spam comments has skyrocketed. This is the sad reason for comment moderation, so it may take a while before your valued comment appears.

It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we could and should promote interaction among Europeans across borders and between linguistic communities. Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.

The Day of Multilingual Blogging 26 September 2010 is drawing closer. It is arranged by the European Commission Representation in the UK and joined by the multilingual blog aggregator, as well as individual European bloggers.

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