On 9 may 1950, the Schuman declaration, signed the birth certificate of the european construction. Robert Schuman, the French minister of Business foreign, on 9 may 1950, announcing the plan of creation of the european Community of coal and steel at the quai d’orsay in Paris. (DPA / AFP)
It was the first walk of Europe, the creation of the ECSC, the european Community of coal and steel. Date today symbolic in this crisis of the Covid-19.
On the eve of the déconfinement, Micro european is dedicated to this anniversary, with Henrik Uterwedde of the franco-German Institute of Ludwisburg, in order to imagine the following, when we know that the Covid-19 also has “shaken” the european Institutions, showing once again the north-south divide concerning the “coronabonds”, that is to say, the mutualisation of debts, and the funds raised on the markets at interest rates aligned.
A crisis of more
This health crisis followed by an economic crisis has revealed the weaknesses of the european project, through the differences in the approach of the epidemic by the member States and the principle of solidarity.
Facing the crisis of an epidemic, an agreement has been reached within the european Council, fortunately, with three decisions, the release of 240 billion euros in loans, $ 100 billion to support the issue of partial unemployment, and by the european investment Bank, € 200 billion for businesses, an envelope of 540 billion euros. An envelope really came, but still low, when the IMF announced that the euro zone’s GDP could shrink by 7% in 2020.
The crisis could have been much more severe within the european institutions if the scandinavian countries and the netherlands had continued to block the european stability mechanism, which would have caused a crisis within the crisis, starting with non-payment in the Southern member States of the Union. But nothing is settled yet.
The european Union is 70 years old today. (MAXPPP)
A lack of solidarity ?
It is this that has come out of recent events between the member States and the Union ; this has led the President of the european Commission to present its apologies to the member States of the South, the most affected by the epidemic, with the exception of Greece, which, from the beginning, has taken the necessary steps and that the government has been followed by the whole population. What makes today’s Greece, a country of more than 10 million inhabitants knows 2 678 cases of Covid-19 reported 148 deaths, or 14 deaths per million inhabitants.
But beyond that, it is a lack of spontaneous solidarity that was seen in Europe, and also more selfishness and refocus national. This may explain it, in the fact that the european citizen is still considered too distant from the functioning of the european institutions, and therefore also of the community decision-making. This is the reason why we have seen the emergence of populism eurosceptics, because it must be said, the “machine” of the eu is not popular, or even ignored.
Apart from Erasmus, who knows since its inception a great success among young people, there should be other programs like this, to bring back into the fold of the Union of the european citizens who today regard themselves as helpless, or even non-existent, by the european institutions.
More Europe for the future ?
More Europe for the future will require more “human”. Europe needs not only to be a “big market”, an economic power that does not take sufficient account of the half-billion citizens of the Union. After 70 years of existence, of past crises, and crises to come, including the Covid-19, followed by an economic crisis that will affect the whole of Europe, it is more human that today there is a need in the functioning of the european institutions, less technocratic, and more invitations to Europeans to participate in one way or another in the projects of the Union.
This is the reason for which in the decade to come, the member States, the institutions and the european politicians will need to show more imagination, empathy, and communication, releasing the word of their voters, who are greatly in need. Europe should no longer be a question of “sachants to sachants”, “expert”, but a joint invitation to create the future together, because Europeans have a common history, common roots and common values.
The challenge is enormous for the european institutions, but more solidarity and visible smooths out the selfishness and self-centredness, the consequences of a certain deafness of european decision-makers.