Six months after the elections the European institutions are now in place. The Parliament and the Commission have indicated their priorities and their commitment to try and respond to high expectations on the part of the Europeans. But what about the Member States?
Paralysed by complicated domestic political situations, fearful and biding their time more than ever before – will they know how to seize the opportunity offered by positive public opinion, which wants effective solutions to quell its fears? All the studies show that people are prepared for real change and breakthroughs, i.e. joint actions, if the results can also be provided.
It is time for governments to stop relying on diplomacy for the conduct of European affairs which depend on the purest and noblest policy.
The European Union has entered a new phase in its development. It is not about giving priority to opening up the continent any more. This has been done, even though there is still work to be done. It means Europe asserting itself with all of its weight in a world in turmoil. And this cannot be done without the strong will of the Member States. It's no longer technique, it's politics!
At least three areas deserve resolute commitment by the national governments.
Security and defence. They must show their determination to defend the continent, including in far-away places where our interests are being challenged and at stake. Our military forces know this – since they often have to work together in the field and suffer from a lack of high-level political solidarity.
Investments in cutting-edge technologies require an ambitious common budget and not cheap response. Risks must be taken, not to try and catch up on what we have not done and missed, but to anticipate future technologies in IT’s, space, maritime and artificial intelligence. Jobs are on the line here.
The economic and monetary policy demands a true continental Capital Markets Union, with banking and savings rules, the source of financing for our investments. It requires a complete review and in all likelihood a pooling of our strengths and weaknesses. The necessary respect of the different subject areas has never been enough to make a policy and this calls for a new audacious, courageous breath of life.
It is possibly our Member States which are “brain-dead”. They are not shining due to their audacity or imagination!
The new European legislature which is now beginning will be reduced to just rear-guard battles and petty squabbles, if a great ambition, shared by some Member States, and carried forward by them, does not offer the community of Europe the opportunity to channel all of its energy into the future.
Hence, we expect our governments to set the example of concrete cooperation. Any initiative including at least two States in which they pool their assets in a European spirit that is open to the others, in a bid to tackle these issues, will trigger the necessary movement. Let them set the example and the European train will launch into action. Otherwise it might very well slip and slide to no avail on its rails for a long time to come.