A fundamental contradiction lies at the heart of Europe.
On one hand, the future for the people of Europe lies in the unified continent. On the other hand, Europe’s elites shy away from talking openly about this.
Nationalist political parties have benefitted from this reticence: the Finns Party, the Front National, Britain’s Ukip, the Alternative for Germany – and now Syriza in Athens.
In this kind of constellation, people only talk about Europe when a problem arises.
Take the early elections in Greece, for example, and concerns about the country’s ability to pay its debts. All the discussions call into question five years of trying to rescue the euro, with billion-euro credits, writing off debts and lowering interest rates. It was all for one goal: to ensure the euro survived.
This adds up to the fact that rather than being embraced and pursued as a project, Europe is winding up a subject that people are forced to address.