As a French citizen I wonder what will happen in the next presidential elections. I must say that the idea of having a referendum on wether France should stay or leave the European Union and the monetary system proposed by Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party, raises a few questions on the validity of such proposal.
I cannot help thinking that being part of one of the largerst commercial area in the world is an asset, a strength. And that position on the global economy is valuable. Even though France is among the top 10 economic powers in the world, what could it gain by leaving the European Union & the monetary system ? What I can see is that instead of ensuring stability and strength we would go into something unknown and isolating in certain aspects. It might give positive results, but in the long term it could also revive old mechanisms of economic & political rivalry. And in a world where polarisation is at the core of political & diplomatic dynamics why increase this climate of distrust and individualism or nationalism ? It appears to me that what the modern world understood quiet rapidly is that trade can keep us at peace. Money flow & trade between countries and the fact that there is a strong interdepence between the nations insures some sort of stability that a political figure cannot provide. So the European Union might be disfunctional on certain aspects but its main purpose on providing stability and uniting a multitude of nations in dialogue is working and gave us the opportunity to gain influence in the world or at least strengthen our position. And this seems very valuable to me. A system is never perfect and can be abused in several ways, misused, but we cannot decide to put it away simply because it does not solve the issues that we are facing because certain sectors of the economy are being reshaped by globalisation, because climbing the social ladder is becoming harder and more complex. That would not solve the issues we are facing, it would only postpone them in a different scale. If you look at the U.S.A or China you can see that their power resides in the facts that they have a large population and represent enourmous market possibilities. The European Union in its own particularity can play big because it represents an incredible amount of economic possibilities too. Sure, on can argue that each nation or at least the richests nations of the European Union could be better off even leaving the union as the United Kingdom decided. But the thing is, the U.K is most of all a financial power at an international level. The situation is quiet different for France, Germany or Spain. If we see each other as competitors and not as partners, it only adds more confrontations and issues to address. With cooperation and deep partnership and the privilege that come with it, we can insure that our democracies do not decline and keep ourselves safe from nationalist divide. Freedom of movement, freedom of enterprise in the vast majority of the territory, freedom to access new opportunities without the limits & demands that regular state impose. This is our legacy. And most of all, the broad links we, as Europeans, develop between each other. Family, friends, new cultures, new languages, new mentalities all together finding out that diversity is more natural than we think.
Well, it appears to me that maintaining a strong union, both at an economic & political level is a wise choice. It does not mean that the actual institution needs to remain as it is now. More than ever we need reform and better understanding on what citizens are going through. I believe we do have answers on how to increase job opportunities, business, social services and work on a defense system that would give the European Union more credit and provide it with the ability to enter negotiations and deal with crisis more effectively.
And last words, we should continue to develop relationships between all the nations of the union, get people together from different backgrounds, understanding and learning to accept each other even though we might not agree on everything. That is the only way we can survive the massive population rise on a global level, otherwise someday someone will tell us that in order to survive we’ll need to get rid of some part of the population and it will be us killing with our hands not the commander.