The common denominator in the Russian war in Ukraine, the despotic caricature of virus control in China, the hunt for opponents in Russia and the African coups is that they no longer share anything with the European landscape.
Long divided and at almost constant war for centuries, the continent's nations have learned to manage their differences in ways other than confrontation. It is the European Union that gives concrete expression to these commitments.
Thus, aggressive war is no longer possible between member states, whereas it was the rule for so long.
European democracies are strengthened by a supranational law that irritates nationalists and extremists, although it constitutes an additional guarantee for the rights of citizens. Two levels of jurisdiction, chosen and assumed, are two opportunities for individual and collective freedoms!
By voluntarily accepting to place their action within a limited and legally constrained framework, the European states have rejected nationalism and have protected themselves against their former errors.
They have thus taken further steps towards a more civilised, less violent and more united society.
Europe has thus become indispensable to the world. It carries a message of progress to the whole planet.
With Russia, we can see how many countries are still far from this.
We also understand that the resurgent populisms that are flourishing here and there in our countries are nothing more than a revisionism that would quickly lead to a return to the horrors that our societies have known.
Although still imperfect, Europe offers an attractive model of society, which is neither weak nor decadent, as the dictators would have us believe, but civilised and progressive.
For example, it will never tolerate what the Russian troops are doing in Ukraine, the series of abuses that enlisted soldiers are capable of perpetrating to their great shame (war is never beautiful, but the way it is waged says a lot about the aggressor).
This precious asset, built on so much history and tragedy, must not be weakened from within, but be defended externally as an achievement and a source of pride.
This is why we must fight the challenge being made to it, even in democratic elections.
This week, the focus is on France.
Will it be faithful to its creation, Europe in the process of unification, or, out of anger and spite, weariness and recklessness, will it give in to nationalist instincts?
The fate of the continent largely depends on it. Let us hope that the French will measure their responsibility.