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The god that failed

For many tears the European Union has been seen as an almost perfect model by some scholars. Just to mention one of them: Jeremy Rifkin. Rifkin published in 2004 the book  “The European Dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream”. According to Rifkin, the “European Dream” is one where individuals find security through connectivity and respect for human rights and not through individual accumulation of wealth. Another example is represented by Ian Manners, that defined the EU as a Normative Power, where one of the main features is represented by the respect of human rights.

In the last few months we have experienced – and we still do – an intensification of the humanitarian crisis that has been wrongly defined migrant crisis. Too much focus has been placed on the fact that a large of number of persons are arriving in Europe, with many Member States revitalizing populist, racist, extreme positions, where there’s no room for a joint action. In practical terms, there is no a clear willing to cooperate to stop this human(itarian) crisis. Because it is of human beings that we are talking. How does it affect us the number of deaths that we get to know every day? How many of us do actually think that the EU should define a clear strategy?

Let’s talk about the strategy. Strategy is related to long term objectives and, as a matter of fact, preventing “migrants” to arrive here is not a strategy, just like it is not a strategy to close the borders, or to passively accept the number of people dying every day while attempting to come to Europe.

So the question is: what kind of actor the EU is in the international arena? Is it really a Normative Power? I strongly believe that it actually is but then a call for action is needed. The EU needs to revitalize its normative status in this period of crisis and consolidate its position. We should not forget the failure occurred during the Balkan crisis in 1990s, where repeated violations of human rights occurred within Europe, and build upon that lesson. This means that the EU should not only discuss about how to rescue migrants or distribute them among MS, which should remain a short term objective, but should define a direct involvement in those countries where those migrants come from. This clearly means to get rid of national preferences, differences and human indifference, so to promote a more political integration enabling the EU to operate as a strategic actor in the international arena.

Is there enough political will to do that?

Author :
EurActiv Network