By turning out to vote in greater numbers than expected and with more than 50% of the Europeans voting, a healthy contradiction was of the prior announcement of a supposed "disaffection" on the part of Europe's citizens regarding European integration. A public European area is now emerging, curiously under the impetus of the nationalists, who it seems, in an amusing paradox, due to their limited progression, need support from beyond our borders. Contained and divided, at a low of 27% of the members of Parliament, they will have but limited influence over European policy, even though they are disrupting several national political arenas.
The traditional parties are on the decline, but to the benefit of pro-European centrists and ecologists. It might very well be that Emmanuel Macron will win his wager to end the condominium of the two main parties (EPP and Social Democrats) by sending the strongest delegation of moderate MEPs ever to Strasbourg, thereby enabling him to lead a central group that will be vital to the constitution of a majority. This might even extend to the ecologists. Negotiations will therefore be launched to determine the orientation of European policies for the next five years. Let us hope that they will not over estimate the expression of the popular vote and that they will remain sensible in the interpretation of this.
Because never, since the 1980's, has the support of the people to European integration been as strong: 68% of Europeans believe that their country has benefited from its membership of the Union and in the event of a referendum, the same share would vote to remain. Their attachment to the euro is even higher (75% on the part of those who use it). The most recent studies also show high expectations of more effective European policies in the control of immigration, which is necessary to guarantee vital economic growth, in terms of taking greater consideration of the defence of the environment and in guaranteeing together, the security and defence of the continent.
Citizens are not challenging the unification of Europe, which they deem to be an acquis; they expect a great deal of it. Let us hope that their message will finally and truly be understood in some of the disrupted national political arenas, likewise in all democracies around the world.
It is therefore a message of trust in Europe and a positive call for renaissance that has been sent out. The people are addressing their leaders and beyond that, the entire world. Europe exists and Europeans believe in it. In Europe the worst is never a certainty but the best is never guaranteed either.