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Europe and its relationship with the countries of the continental south

by PREMIUM.CAT
una persona sosté un plat amb croissants i una persona sosté una forquilla, Delaunay, fotografia professional d'aliments, una foto d'estoc, art informel

A party to which we are invited

On occasion, it has been said that the countries of the continental south are in the European Union like someone who has been invited to a party, but he doesn’t quite know why. We meet in a corner, have croissants and observe without saying too much, for fear that they will realize that our invitation was a mistake. This is what makes Spanish and Catalan Europeanism a broad Europeanism, almost unanimous, but lacking strength and drive. We always talk about Europe in the third person, as if it were a meteorological phenomenon, alien and inevitable. We accept everything they offer us and we complain when we don’t like what arrives, but we don’t dare to propose anything and we always follow the decisions and initiatives of the founding countries and the Franco-German core, which we consider the real Europeans. European integration is something that happens to us, that happens, but that we don’t do. That is why in these elections there has not been much talk about what the Union should be like in the near future, what kind of governance and what powers it should have, whether it is necessary to modify the treaties before expanding, or whether the Parliament must gain power to the detriment of the Council. It has not been discussed, in short, how much more sovereignty the states must cede.

Europe and its relationship with the states

Since 1950, when Robert Schuman made the famous speech, we have known that political Europe is a zero-sum game. If something is decided in Brussels, it is not decided in Madrid. It’s as simple as that. That is why it is surprising that the party that won the elections in Catalonia did so with an openly contradictory speech. The slogan was ‘More Europe’, but the advertisement stated that more Europe meant more Catalonia and more Spain. Perhaps it is true that more Europe can be more Catalonia, since according to the principle of subsidiarity, the regions (including nations) are the appropriate area to implement most public policies. But more Spain, more nation state, definitely not.

Sovereignty and the relationship with the European Union

It should be noted that this is not the only confusing approach of this campaign. The second and third parties with the most votes, the two pro-independence forces, have not made much effort to explain that you can be pro-sovereignist and pro-European at the same time, even though it seems contradictory. What we want is to have all the sovereignty that is currently in the hands of the Kingdom of Spain and then cede an important part to the European project. The discourse of the Europe of nations, if not explained well, can seem too similar to that of the far-right’s Europe of homelands. The emphasis must be placed not so much on a concept as worn and questionable as sovereignty, but on a much simpler idea: the intrinsic diversity of European society as a sign of identity and value to be protected. The motto of the EU says it: ‘In varietate concordia’ (United in diversity).

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