Blog AnalysisEuropean policy

A latent political crisis, which splits Europe

(B2) Since the parenthesis of the election of Emmanuel Macron in France, there is not an election in Europe that has not resulted in a stiffening of national politics, as we have seen in Italy (March 2018), Austria, Bulgaria and Sweden (October 2018). The questions that arise are both very technical, but also very political. Today there is a generalized political shift

Generosity no longer has the wind in its sails

Movements from the national right, even from the extreme right, are in power in coalition with others in a good half dozen countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovakia). Other governments have operated a semantic and ideological evolution towards conservatism, often tinged with a refusal to see European integration go too far (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia).

A slow shift of ideas

Finally, even in Christian Democrat or liberal liberal governments, one senses a slippage, an acquiescence to these ideas (Germany, Netherlands). Clearly, the ideas of Hungarian Viktor Orban, whom some (good) minds saw isolated in Europe, have gained ground (Read: Viktor, enjoyer of history, illiberal if necessary, disciplined provocateur).

A new European approach

The conclusions of the June 2018 European summit reflect this " new approach » based on a principle that has become fundamental: the blocking of European borders and the fight against illegal immigration. The usual balance, sought after, even if it was sometimes difficult to achieve, between legal migration and illegal migration, has been reversed. While greater freedom has been left to member countries to enter into bilateral agreements on this theme, reflecting greater flexibility.

A slow erasure of the European idea

Since 2005 and the 'No' referenda in France and the Netherlands, we have felt in public opinion a slow erasure of the European idea, not only of belief in European institutions, but also of the values ​​it carries: solidarity , integration, common goal.

The bubble illusion

The institutions, the European bubble have often deluded themselves, first convincing themselves that it would not happen (example: Brexit) then telling themselves that it was just a bad time to pass. At worst, the people were made to vote again. And we continued, closing our eyes.

The democratic placebo of citizen consultations

So-called 'citizen' consultations were organised, officially to bring up information, in fact to try to convince applicants. They took the place (and they still take) of a democratic lure. Supposed to resolve the evil, they were more like a homeopathic placebo than a more vigorous treatment.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).