Until now the European Union did not have any enemies.This was its singularity and its pride.
Gradually from within opinion accepted the daring wager made by the Founding Fathers of Europe, which introduced peace, rebuilt a continent in ruins and recovered true prosperity. Abroad its soft power, which was appreciated, constantly strengthened its attractiveness.
The economic crisis and Russian diplomacy have changed all of this: Europe now has enemies and the pack is out to kill.
From within extremists are riding on the economic difficulties caused by unprecedented globalisation in a bid to make the Union responsible for the failures which are firstly to blame on pitiful national policies. People are dreaming of Europe on the outside but from within an attempt is underway to make us despair. Because in Europe and with the euro - aren't there countries that are succeeding and some which are not?
Putin and Russian diplomacy became aware rather late in the day that they were neighbours to the world's leading economic and trade power, of an area of freedom and justice, of true rule of law that is in line with the people's deepest wishes, where solidarity is organised like
nowhere else on earth. They took fright when they understood that in spite of their differences Europeans were able to lend a hand to those who look on them with envy and that it was becoming increasingly easy to divide them in order to manipulate them.
Hence it is not surprising that they are doing everything in their power to dismember Ukraine and at the same time discredit Europe - at the same time their allies within the Union are being recruited amongst both right and leftwing extremists, but also sometimes on the fringes of some major government parties.
Between them they share a hate of the European Union, a most dangerous type of nationalism, a community of thought that often flirts with racism and xenophobia and always with protectionism, fear and egotism. They have created close links between themselves.
Marine le Pen made the trip to Moscow and was applauded in the Duma where the real extremists are seated. She took the side of Russia in its conflict in Ukraine. She even dispatched to Crimea her Ile de France's leading candidate in the European elections as an observer in the mock referendum that took place on 16th March last, which has been denounced by the international community. Her representative was in good company there, since 135 emissaries from the worst European far-right and neo-nazi parties went along too
To those who doubt it we might recommend watching http://www.prorussia.tv, an internet TV channel funded by Moscow which even covers localelections in Europe!
This fifth column will possibly have a group at the European Parliament soon and then Putin's Russia will then have an official voice in the hemicycle in Strasbourg.
There was practically no far right movement in Ukraine before the Russian attacks, nor any problem with any religious or ethnic community. There will be now, as in the European Union, where activists are trying to create dissension.
The collusion is clear and eurosceptics, whether they are British conservatives, or French UMP dissidents should think twice before making the path easy for these people.
Europeans now have real enemies that they have to fight.
From within, via commitment to Europe that political leaders must now finally assume to the full, through debate, belief, calling on reason and the general interest that our citizens know how to recognise. On the outside, determination is required to stop the dangerous direction taken by a country that will not think twice about riding rough shod over all of the multilateral and bilateral agreements it has ever signed, to use force and threats to challenge the stability of the continent.
This means that Europe has to stop disarming, to privilege belief and not just think of dialogue. "Showing our teeth" to the aggressor is often the best way of guaranteeing peace.
Because these enemies have the same goal: to weaken and if possible destroy what Europe has built up.
This tribute paid to reality by the least reputable of its adverseries is the challenge to which we have to rise. It is also one of the main stakes in the upcoming European elections.