This is what Galileo was supposed to have sighed after his inquisitors forced him to recant his scientific conclusion that the Earth turned around the sun. This is what we would like to shout after the European electoral period, which is now peacefully coming to a conclusion, with the appointment of a new team to lead the European institutions.
The European elections recorded a turnout of 51%, up by more than 8 points, which provides the Parliament with greater legitimacy. The Eurosceptic wave that had been announced did not unfurl itself over the assembly, 67.5% of whose members are confirmed pro-Europeans. The citizens expressed trust in the community that they deem to be an acquis and of which they expect a great deal.
Although the main parties have lost significant ground, which goes hand in hand with increasing mistrust of political leaders, the new majority in Parliament is firmly committed to the success of the European project.
The appointment of the future leaders of the common institutions took place, contrary to observations, in a more than honourable manner. Three meetings between the Heads of State and government, of which nothing was hidden, were enough to appoint leading personalities to eminent positions. Finally, it was extremely transparent and democratic, since the European Parliament still has to endorse the choice that has been made. The specific nature of the procedure, which is nothing like anything we have experienced in our States before, might have caused surprise. We might question its pertinence, even the slowness of it; however, it is perfectly in line with the European Union, a voluntary union of States which aim to pool their means for greater efficiency. Driven by good intentions the MEPs would like to have imposed their choice. This was slightly precipitate, but why not, one day, when there is just one European campaign and no longer a sum of national elections! The heads of State and government have chosen four top personalities, notably two women who will embody the perfection of Europe in the international arena.
Because it will be in the autumn that a new phase in European politics will start. After having legitimately focused on the opening and pacification of the continent – a major historical, unprecedented achievement - Europe has to project itself more resolutely towards the outside and its future. Throwing all of its weight into international relations means conquering its autonomy, using all of its assets to promote its values and interests. Two women at the helm will be particularly well armed to embody the rejection of the folly of dangerously macho, outdated egos, which certain quarters would like to impose on us. Projecting ourselves into the future means winning the digital and innovative wager – and Europeans have everything at their disposal to do this – the intelligence, the people and the knowledge. It is up to us to take action and prevent the imperium of the monopolies. We shall need to be skilful, but also firm and act with conviction. The team that has been appointed is not lacking in this.
As these developments have occurred the cynical, disenchanted critics of the elites have continued to criticise, as they have done for the last 70 years. We can oppose the peevish, whose habits have been disturbed as they discover the scale of Europe, which is much more pertinent for this century of Continent-States, with the trust of the people, who are attached to the Union and especially to the euro, its most federal policy.
We might in turn whisper in their ear: “Europe?” “Yet it moves!” and rather well at that!