COMMENT

Euroskepticism is nourished by the West by following the wrong formula

ATHINA ANTONIADOU

TAGS: Economy, Politics

With the European Parliament elections rapidly approaching, the discussions of the so-called systemic representatives who intervene in the mass media are heating up.

That is in an attempt on their part to convince their audience that Euroskepticism means the isolation of the country itself, but also a departure from the ideals of Europe – egalitarianism and equal opportunities for all – a turn to the far-right or the far-left, something which they say will lead with mathematical certainty to the degradation of citizens’ economic life – and not just that.

A smaller number of opponents of Euroskepticism simply refer to a trend that acts as a brake on any central effort made in order to overcome any crisis.

On the opposite end of the spectrum in recent years we have seen a cold, antisocial austerity being imposed on the countries of the South, in an attempt – they claim – to achieve financial stability and the recovery of these countries.

Firstly, during the past several years, countries in the South such as Greece and Italy have faced strong migratory pressure, mainly from the east, while EU headquarters and Germany flirted with Turkey (it has been proven to be an untrustworthy interlocutor, which instrumentalizes every relevant agreement it concludes), even offering billions of euros in order for the unreliable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to control migration flows to Europe.

At the same time, the countries of the South – and, more specifically, Greece – have complained about a lack of resources, infrastructure, and qualified personnel, while talking about an unsustainable situation that requires burden-sharing by fellow member-states – but without a substantial response.

The countries of the South are also called upon to manage, among other things, nongovernmental organizations of “strong interests” that are registered in northern countries, which, while being funded by significant European funds, do not seem to meet the required expectations.

In this context, the same headquarters of the West are allegedly reinforcing the dogmatic view, through unknown centers of power, that the rise of Euroskepticism will lead to closed borders, racism, xenophobia and the dissolution of the European Union, making no admission that they might have followed the wrong formula.

But is this the case, or are there any scenarios of destruction or fear of dissolution of the EU escaping from unknown power centers?

This is speculation toward which the Western governments waste no time in giving their own response as fact, without taking into account the social reactions that this attitude will provoke.

The reaction? The political idea of a Europe of nation-states with national sovereignty which will refrain from any attempt to enforce German interests – and not just that – seems to be growing and becoming established in these countries (such as in Greece).

It is clear that while dilemmas are being created, without being answered, with regard to what arrangements do and do not exist, what will ultimately be ingrained in the minds of citizens is the policies which have been implemented and are still in place, which have proved over time not only not to work in favor of European integration, but you would think they are being fed in order for unbridled and populist voices that create a hotchpotch of stereotypes among the peoples of Europe to be actually strengthened.

Consequently, the path that will be followed by political forces in the upcoming European elections is now visible (if they can listen to an important part of society) and it cannot be excluded for us to see a new European Parliament in the future where a significant number of members are of a strong anti-European disposition.


Athina Antoniadou is a sociologist and freelance writer.

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