The populists Farage and Murdoch, we are looking for someone to blame for the Brexit. However, the EU such as it is today is not enough anymore.
Nigel Farage’s invectives, British and European populists’ clichés, the disgraceful propaganda made by Rupert Murdoch’s media, the split between England and Scotland, the generation gap between the pro EU young and the euro-skeptical elderly people. The results of the British referendum lead to several interpretations and several responsibilities.
Europe itself has its own responsibilities and it should better think on them. The actual EU institutional structure does not work anymore, with a too weak European Parliament, a more technical than political European Commission, the cross-veto game between Member States at the EU Council, which block any most relevant decision, the unbalance power between the economically weaker and the stronger Member States and the total lack of political leaders at European level. As a result, today the EU has a ‘grey’ and a too bureaucratic reality, which speaks an incomprehensive language still too far from people’s hearts—although they have had some very successful projects, such as the Erasmus program, Horizon 2020 and the internal market.
The national governments bear the main responsibilities. The EU is how it is as a result of Member States which will prefer having Brussels as a perfect scapegoat for their faults instead of a united and strong political union—not a “super State” but a European federation. The lack of courage and far sight is the main cause of this imperfect EU, which is a beautiful and romantic idea in theory but ineffective and cold in reality. Europe as a whole has to change its language; it must become colorful, and it must be led by political leaders who have European depth and are able to stand in front of the national leaders and not to bend in respect. Unfortunately politicians such as Juncker and Tusk are not enough to boost the EU towards a better future. Juncker pretends to be a true European and in a certain way he acts like this, but he has not the charisma, the age and the message to lead the way for millions of Europeans.
The EU should not be an “elite circle” anymore with a private club of intellectuals because in today’s political era—with the Internet, social media and a growing desire for direct democracy—the people will vote for a referendum just because the EU is against it because they are unemployed, angry or just fed lies by populists such as Farage and Le Pen. Modern times require a different approach, which is why the last referendum was disgraceful for the EU. The EU was born as a wonderful project from a very tiny minority of illuminated people but now it needs to mobilize the common workingman. It is in this respect that Brussels is failing badly.
Although someone in Brussels is happy for the Brexit, the UK goodbye is a clear step back in the path towards deeper European integration. The risk that other countries, such as France or the Netherlands, will try to follow the UK is high. Let’s hope that the policymakers in the European capitals will understand that they must change and have the courage to lead towards a real political union otherwise they better pack all up and get ready to go home as they would condemn the entire continent for decades of economic, social and political decline.