AEGEE International Politics Journal

Quo Vadis, EU?

What you are about to read is an essay made upon daily news and some documentation (mainly concerning our food production which will be taken as example). It contains neither a complete set of information nor an objective statement. Other opinions are thus highly welcome for more information and perception diversity – and for implementing a fruitful discussion.

All of us have heard about „The Crisis“– a phenomenon emerging from the economical principle of the financial market on a large scale intermingled with state policy. Regardless of whom to blame many people in Europe have already struck by its consequences for several years now, some slightly, some with full force. Distracted by this something else is going on, less rapid but yet accelerating, of which the mentioned crisis is just a part.

It is about the alienation of EU policy from its citizens by lobbying, becoming observable, for example, in the food sector: The famous cucumber regulations (which are abrogated again btw.) were one indication for what is going on in the EU – lobby parties purposed to pass guidelines on food in order to increase efficiency, thus producing a lot of abundance and discard (? „Taste the waste“). State sovereignty has been under corrosion several times, the recent occasion coming from the EU itself – again: the suggestion of restriction on plant seeds for the benefit of big agricultural corporations such as Monsanto.

Motions against this plan have been set up at once; before that there was the “Right2water” movement taking action against suggestions from Brussels for assigning water supply announcements Europe-wide. Since both counteractions are greatly supported by European citizens, and the EU is about to withdraw both plans everything seems to be ok, doesn’t it?

But isn’t it curious that so many people believe the EU is capable of inflicting so rudely upon our basic needs? According to surveys it is not – EU scepticism has increased during the last years. Whether this is due to crisis management, setting up doubtful plans about our water supply, or cucumber curvature regulations is of no greater importance. Albeit the outcome stays EU scepticism and has to be tackled before anything fruitful can be implemented for the next European elections.

Trust in our supranational construct as a grant for peace and stability for over half a century has to be restored, but not by those who lost it – the citizens – but by those who gambled it away. Approaches should address politicians in order to increase transparency of political processes and possibilities of public participation, and to reduce influence taken by (economical and thus not democratic) lobby parties.

We, the active citizens of Europe, have to speak up and encourage them to rearrange emphases, proposing the EU to give priority to the people before serving the economy.

Armin Weckmann (AEGEE-Darmstadt)

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