I have decided to write an open letter. I am speaking to the peoples of Europe, to the people of the European Union and, in particular, to the Eurosceptics.
Let’s pretend, only for a moment, that we were all part of a unicum, we had a single Government, we lived in a truly united Europe. Let’s imagine that there is a body composed of Confederate States, led by a single policy, both in terms of domestic and international issues. How would you judge, in that case, an interference into its own affairs by other Governments who are intentioned to destroy your own Country? Perhaps you would consider it espionage, even treason? How would you evaluate the actions and the positions of any actors willing to destroy the current administrations? Attempted coup? Because, in case you hadn’t realised it, this is happening in Europe right now.
Today the European Union is, in fact, an economic and political union, one of a kind. What had begun as an economic community has evolved, over time, into an organization active in many sectors, from climate to the environment, from health to foreign relations, from security to justice and immigration. The European Union is based on the principle of the rule of law: all of its powers lay on treaties that have been freely and democratically signed by the member States. The EU is also governed according to the principle of representative democracy, through which citizens can directly elect MEPs while the Member States have the space and the opportunity to act within the European Council and the EU Council.
What’s more, dear anti-Europeists, in 2012 the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe, a continent which for centuries has been the scene of fratricidal wars and terrible massacres.
Thanks to the single currency and the abolition of border controls among the member States, the citizens can now move freely in most of the continent. The single or “internal” market allowing the free movement of goods, services and capital is EU’s main economic engine and what makes it great in front of superpowers such as the United States, Russia or China.
Well, you should know that Trump’s USA and Putin’s Russia fear our European Union, both because it is their main competitor, from a commercial perspective in Asia and a geopolitical one in the Middle East, and because of its economic strength and the level of well-being in which we live.
Yes, I’m giving you a shocking new: we live in the well-being. In the US there are areas where the living conditions are comparable to those of some developing Countries, where education and health are “only for the rich.” Russia, instead, is only apparently governed in a democratic way, but in reality there is a dictator who has silenced every opposition leaving the population afraid of freely expressing itself. Paradoxically, Vladimir Putin gains supporters more easily abroad than in his homeland.
Shall we talk about some parts of Asia in which the diseases caused by air and water pollution have caused a decline in life expectancy at birth? Or we could choose to live in Arab countries, where women have few rights. Wait, there is also Africa: choose a State, and then compare the quality of life there with ours. Maybe we could live in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where children are relegated until death in the pits to extract cobalt and thallium in order to extract superconductors serving our hi-tech industry to produce our smartphones. There is, finally, Latin America, which is “evolved” but dangerous. Let’s just think of Mexico, where in order to avoid aggressions by baby trafficking gangs it’s better not to go out at night and to fence impenetrable walls around our homes. Let’s think of Argentina, from where the feminist movement Ni una menos has arised to say stop to all forms of violence against women.
In fact, if you exclude Justin Trudeau’s Canada and Australia, there are no places in the world where you would live better than in Europe.
But are we really are under attack by a new form of Cyber Cold War 2.0? Donald Trump has used harsh words. “I do not think that the EU is too important to the United States”, said the President, noting how Brexit had been a “great thing, and other Countries will follow.” The Kremlin, for its part, is literally funding eurosceptic parties. In this regard, in Strasbourg the European Parliament has approved a resolution denouncing this destructive interference. The EP report continues stressing that the pressure by the Russian propaganda is growing and “seeking to distort the truth, instill fear, cause doubts and divide the EU”. “For ten years, the Kremlin has been influencing the European public debate and now the issues which are at its advantage have become mainstream,” has explained TPI Alina Polyakova, expert on far-right movements and parties in Europe and columnist for The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. In all this, Islamic terrorism is also doing its part, instilling insecurity and terror, intentionally or not. In fact, it is at the service of those who want to conquer and destroy the European Union. Yes, because these people, conquerors, traitors or opportunists, have identified a weakness in democracy: you can dismiss governments by manipulating the masses by all means available, including socialmedia.
Back to us, dear Eurosceptics who seem not to like Europe at all: do you really want to destroy all this and have your children live like in those countries that I’ve just mentioned?
The European Union is not free of errors. Too much bureaucracy, too much waste, too much distance between political power and citizens (the direct election of leaders perhaps would fix this problem). There are still those, including Angela Merkel, who aim to develop a two – speeds Europe, and I’m not sure that this is the best route. Indeed, the weakest Eastern European Countries have been penalized, while the strongest ones, just like Germany, took advantage of the situation to impose the rules more favorable to them, for instance austerity.
But, nevertheless, in the last difficult decade we have been protected by instruments such as the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), effective to cope with the great recession in the USA, which was felt much more there than here. The weakest eurozone member States have benefited from it several times.
I think that now the European people must take a stand and defend our State from the attack of Russia, the US and Islamist fundamentalism. If you haven’t understood it yet, we are at war and the enemies are all those who want to destroy our great and united Country. It does not matter if they were born in Europe, or are infiltrated, or are competing to our social and economic power. It’s time to defend ourselves, it is time to unite even more.
Massimiliano Fanni Canelles
Head of CAD Nephrology and Dialysis, Health Department with University of Udine
Adj. Professor in Alma Mater University in Bologna of International Cooperation
Editor of SocialNews Magazine
President of Auxilia Foundation