Three challenges ONLY EUROPE can take on

Against a backdrop of general indifference to the European elections of 2009, Pierre Defraigne presents a clarion call for thoughtful engagement and considered participation in the European project. The author, a distinguished civil servant with over forty years’ experience of the riddles of Schuman Square, a former Chief of Cabinet for Etienne Davignon and Pascal Lamy at the Commission, and currently the Director of a think-tank and lecturer in several universities, calls upon the voter to seize this critical moment in the history of both Europe’s integration and the world’s evolution.

Distancing himself from the current, catchy, but nevertheless complacent discourse addressing a Europe of consumers and users, of mobility and Euros in the pocket, of the pax europeana, Mr Defraigne addresses young citizens and confronts them with the world as it is: a world of crisis, climate change and security challenges.

His argument is threefold: that only a united Europe can take up these historical challenges; that Europe as it stands is not yet ready to do so because it lacks both strong institutions and unity on a common societal project; and that the return of intergovernmentalism with 27 Member States will condemn the EU to function by fits and starts. A “citizen-takeover”, therefore, is the only avenue that will lead to the emergence of a truly European political leadership equipped to deal with the challenges of our time.

The argument is ambitious and engaged. It strives to awaken, primarily within the younger generations, a consciousness of a European common good that transcends national identities. “To be European” gives a duty to think large and, at an early stage, to take measure of the immensity of the project ahead: to put market capitalism back under control, to counter the climate threat and the loss of biodiversity, to become a strategic power for peace in the world. These are the tasks that await the emergent generation.

Time is ticking for Europe before its demographic winter arrives and consecrates the continent’s relative decline next to the emergent Asia. Unity is no longer an abstract ideal. It is a duty of reason. At stake is an idea of Europe that should not be left to die because Europe, even if reduced to a small peninsula of the Asian continent, both bears and guarantees a set of values that apply across all mankind.

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Specifications


Publisher
Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation
Co-publisher
La Libre Belgique
Author
Pierre Defraigne,
Collection
Europe
Language
English
Publisher Category
Economics and Social Sciences > Political and Social Science > European Affairs
Onix Audience Codes
06 Professional and scholarly
Title First Published
01 January 2009
Type of Work
Monograph

PDF


Publication Date
2009
ISBN-13
978-2-87419-087-2
Code
PDF28001100762720
ONIX XML
Version 2.1, Version 3

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Contents


Voter or Citizen? 7
Two discourses on Europe are possible 8
A matter of triple urgency! 9
A crisis is an opportunity for progress 10
The EU-27 is our imperfect tool 12
The EU-27 bears some responsibility in this crisis 15
The collective responsibility of a generation 17
The three emergencies of our time 19
I. THE CRISIS 19
Three angles on the response to the crisis 22
Yes, but Europe is not yet ready! 24
II. THE ENERGY, CLIMATE AND SECURITY KNOT 26
Pioneer on climate 28
But rivalries between Europeans still rule in matters of supply 29
The EU is not yet ready to organise the distribution of energy at global level 30
III. SECURITY AND DEFENCE 31
The world is interdependent and its management needs cooperation and solidarity 31
Europe has the makings of a great power 33
But the EU is divided again on the issue of its security 34
Managing a multipolar world is Europe’s busi-ness nonetheless 36
Thinking about our rela-tionship to the world as Europeans 37
In Conclusion :
The long march from diplomatic Europe to civic Europe! 39