- The EU's disastrous status quo, Barbara Spinelli (openDemocracy)
In this article Barbara Spinelli raises crucial issues which we, as European federalists, cannot in any way afford to evade. To be sure, the inherently dubious democratic legitimacy of present-day EU (and Eurozone) governance has always been denounced by federalists, who have laid the blame squarely on the still intergovernmental character of the EU.
- Migrants : dix raisons (et plus) de les accueillir dignement en Europe et d’ouvrir les frontières
(Authors: François Gemenne & Michel Agier; Jean Gadrey. Blog di Jean Gadrey, Alternatives Economiques)
This article has no time for those fastidious distinctions between refugees in general (“a problem anyway”), Syrian refugees in particular (“Ok, welcome, if Merkel says so. Up Merkel!”), and economic migrants (responses to whom range from “Go back where you come from, you benefit scroungers” to “But we can’t let them all in!”) which you will find in mainstream media and political discourse. The authors make a fair-and-square case for an open-border policy. Can we really pretend we are in no way involved in the causes of mass migration – wars, conflicts, tyranny, oppression, starvation, poverty, climate catastrophes? Who can distinguish between “justified” and “unjustified” reasons for migrating? Is it only people from the North and the West of the world who should be free to pursue a better life elsewhere? “Help them in their own country”, it is frequently said. Quite apart from the fact that war and destruction have made this argument laughable in most cases, haven’t remittances from emigrants often played a major part in the economic development of a country? Nor would the countries of origin be the sole beneficiaries of the economic effects of migration – think of the financing of a starved and ailing welfare state, if that is still a priority for European policy-makers and voters alike.
More in general, the authors argue for the end of a “prohibitionist” approach, which would finally put an end to trafficking and free migrants from that condition of blackmail, subjection, vulnerability which “illegality” always entails. And then there is the question of rights which people in the West are very reluctant to acknowledge. Curiously, the very West which thought nothing of unclenching a couple of “humanitarian wars”, ostensibly to defend human rights, is apt to forget Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says in Clause 2:
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”.
Far from being a luxury or a crime, migrating is actually a human right.
Finally, the authors put forward the argument of the inherent unity of humankind. It must never again happen, as back in the 1930s, that whole categories of people are branded as “undesirables”. It is up to us to relaunch humanism as a political value, and not just hot air.
From this we would also like to draw a conclusion of our own. There is indeed no contradiction between the case for open borders on the one hand and the principle of free circulation in of people in the EU and European citizenship rights on the other hand (which are at present under attack, especially on the part of the UK). The latter without the former are precarious and ultimately questionable. Indeed, it is the belief in the inherent unity of humankind which at the end of the day will hold “Europe” together and make it develop as a civic and political project.
In the meantime…
The European Parliament is trying to amend the European Commission’s plan on which the Council of the Ministers of the Interior reached an agreement in July. MEPs want to re-open the discussion on the number of refugees, want refugees quotas for European countries to be binding and permanent, want to be involved in the application of these regulations, and not simply consulted, and finally they want refugees to be able to express their interests and preferences in the relocation to EU countries. If you can read Italian, read the interview to Green MEP Ska Keller here http://www.europainmovimento.eu/europa/keller-verdi-il-sistema-delle-quote-di-asilanti-diventi-permanente-e-vincolante.htmlkeller-verdi-il-sistema-delle-quote-di-asilanti-diventi-permanente-e-vincolante.html.
As we favour a policy of open borders, we also support this campaign demanding safe transportation to Europe for refugees, so that they can enter the EU legally: http://www.socialeurope.eu/2015/09/open-letter-europeans-unite-to-help-refugees/ .
No more victims in the Mediterranean Sea and on European roads! Support it too!
Thanks to its important economy and demography , the EU can play a key role as global power but it has to complete the political integration process. The EU can promote peace, protect the environment contributing to the prevention of global warming, and it can combat international terrorism. Despite the predominant view of national states, the Lisbon Treaty (2009) has strengthened the EU foreign and security policy. The Treaty indeed has established the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and The European External Action Service (with the EU diplomatic corps). The two following articles show some cases where the EU has played commonly and successfully. It is a first step, but it is still insufficient to develop a real EU foreign policy. The EU needs a common defence and security policy and a single voice in global issues with a common permanent seat within an UN Security Council transformed in a Council of the Great Regions of the world.
- EU envoy warns of new sanctions against settlements. Official says there are ‘more tools’ Europe can use to protest Israel’s continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank. (timesofisrael.com)
EU Said to Work on Political Deal With Iran for Energy Contracts
Peace and solidarity are fundamental principles which have underlain the European integration process since its beginning. Both EU and the individual European countries should receive and support migrants to live up to such constitutive principles. Nowadays, migrants are the most significant European issue, but, as Jean Claude Juncker stated, “none can tackle it alone”. The migrant issue – like the European project itself – constitutes a challenge between selfishness and solidarity that European citizens should fight off together in solidarity. In this interview, the former German chancellor - Gerhard Schröder – explains how the EU can overcome the selfishness of national states and how the migrant issue can represent a social and economic added value for the future European societies.
- Europe must not erect 'new iron curtains' against migrants, warns former German chancellor. If Germany wants to be socially and economically strong in the future, it needs immigration, says Gerhard Schröder. (telegraph.co.uk/)
The recent Greek debt crisis and the Chinese financial crisis have underlined the weakness of the European Union and its Eurozone that are still dominated by the national interests of individual states. The French Minister of the Economy - Emmanuel Macron - emphasized the need to create a strong European economic government with its own budget to avoid future economic crisis. This goal will be a crucial step towards a real European Federation based on four main unions: fiscal, banking, economic and political.
- French economy minister calls for full fiscal union in Eurozone Emmanuel Macron wants to "re-found the EU" and create a new economic government with control of its own budget (telegraph.co.uk)
- It's time for the EU's biggest reform, say France and Germany (telegraph.co.uk)