No, it’s not the time for European Unity

, by Pablo Enrique Sosa Giraldo

No, it's not the time for European Unity

Let’s assume that, as many analysts assume, Trump’s election does indeed mean that NATO suffers, and that, in turn, the European Union is made stronger. A priori this seems like a good scenario, but let’s go even further.

This might seem an inappropriate forum for this opinion to be published, yet I ask of you for patience and some imagination. Let’s assume that, as many analysts assume, Trump’s election does indeed mean that NATO suffers, and that, in turn, the European Union is made stronger. A priori this seems like a good scenario, but let’s go even further.

What would happen if by chance or destiny, we were to stand triumphantly over Trump’s and Putin’s empires? Many would welcome it as the long awaited goal of European unity, if we were to unite as a consequence of being cornered by two super powers. But, how much can really be built on top of the opposition to the other? If we build Europe on the basis of us versus them, we are doing Europe no favor. This kind of construction, typical for populists and nationalists, is doomed to fail because it is not sustainable in the long term.

The construction of Europe should be based neither on pessimism nor on necessity, but on the certainty that we share cultural, societal, and political roots, which give birth to a common identity - the revolutionary idea of sharing a common destiny and history, and not excluding but integrating. If our project isn’t based on integration, we risk that it might easily disintegrate, since, once the enemy is vanquished, why should we stay together?

The European project has suffered from a foundational mistake, taking the approach that worked for Germany’s unity. The founders thought that economic unity based on a common market would make unity the inescapable final conclusion. What wasn’t taken into account, was that Germany was not only built through treaties between Kings and Princes, but arduous intellectual labor also had to be done. From universities to every aspect of cultural life. This Union will perish if it doesn’t understand the biblical saying: “Man shall not live on bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). While we don’t, it is not time for the European unity, no matter how many Putins and Trumps are in the world. Only once it’s accompanied with a revolution in our identity and mentality, should we step forward.

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