A New Impulse – But For Which Europe?

european citizenThe triumph of the principle of competition among and within European member states has generated a continuous aggravation of disparities, writes Etienne Balibar in a special long read. Not that the French philosopher allows this to stop him stubbornly envisioning a Europe other than that of bankers, technocrats and political profiteers.

Europe is dead, long live Europe? Since the beginning of a year in which elections were held for the European parliament (invested for the first time with the power to choose the president of the Commission), the paradoxes and uncertainties of the communal construction have hardly disappeared from the headlines.

On the one side, there are Cassandras announcing that paralysis and dissolution always threaten since none of the recipes applied have resolved the contradiction inherent to a political construction, the principle of which implies the antagonism of its members’ interests. Recession is now perennial; inequalities have grown between nations, generations and social classes; political systems are blocked; there is, on the part of the populations, a radical defiance toward the European institutions, toward the European construction as such. Continue reading