Will the theme of the upcoming European elections be immigration? No government is proposing to increase the number of immigrants. Each and everyone is aware that the crisis of 2015 was the source of fear amongst public opinion, of seeing uncontrolled masses
of refugees and economic migrants swamp Europe, which would only add to the number of failed integration policies. On the contrary, Europeans are trying by all means to regulate and bring the
long term phenomenon of migration under control.
In addition to this the instrumentalisation of the migratory question must be challenged. Divergence focuses on the means, but not on the goals. Of course, to date, the governments of Europe have not managed to agree on this and therefore convince their citizens that there are sustainable, acceptable solutions. In all likelihood, a few of them will succeed however. But the closure of national borders, advocated by some has no chance of providing a solution, since it would not stand the test of time.
Results have already been achieved and since 2015 the number of illegal immigrants has decreased by two-thirds; agreements have been made with countries of transit and origin, conditioning European aid against effective control. The latter has been strengthened on Europe's borders. Each of us knows that it is only over time that the sum of these measures will bring results.
In reality nationalists and extremists are challenging the efficacy of liberal democracies regarding their ability to rise to increasingly complicated questions, which do not simply depend on purely national solutions. Complexity and interdependence are the daily constraints of our executives. Simplistic discourse is opposite to European integration and plays into the hands of sterile withdrawal into our own identites. On the outside many are disturbed by the Union in its present form, with its imperfections, but also its successes. Europe and the euro now have arch enemies in the East and the South, and even on the other side of the Atlantic.
The real issue at stake in the European elections of 2019 should therefore focus rather on the place and role of Europe in the international arena. Should it be more self-reliant, have a higher profile, be better armed to defend and promote its model of freedom, prosperity and solidarity? Or should it deny all of its beliefs to plunge, like many others, into the cynicism of withdrawal and
power struggles? Should it adhere stubbornly to its ideas of political organisation designed for the Human, fulfilment in freedom, culture, the protection of the environment and solidarity? Or should it prefer collective discipline in the name of ideologies that disrespect individual and collective rights to the benefit of the most extreme profiteering?
In the race toward hegemony, in which China and the USA have now launched themselves, in the midst of turbulent international relations, there is a place for an assertive Europe, which has in its possession the instruments of power and independence, and which gives value to what it has already accomplished, so that it can weigh more in terms of the world's development.