Recover the European dream
The upcoming European elections will define the direction of the continent for years to come. Citizens from Barcelona to Bucharest have the chance to vote for business as usual or for a change in direction.
Europe is currently governed by conservative technocrats. They have prescribed a combination of austerity (cuts to public services) and internal devaluation (cuts to wages) that have led to a significant increase in poverty and unemployment, especially against young people. Inequality has increased between the rich and the poor, between the old and the young, and between the north and the south. Citizens across the union are understandably upset, not just at what decisions have been made, but also how they have been made.
This context has seen the rise of Eurosceptic, nationalist, and far-right parties who call for a retreat to old certainties. They are the expression of how the response to the crisis has been fraying existing bonds of solidarity. These forces would be the main beneficiary of maintaining the status quo for another five years, putting the European project under immense strain.
From Catalonia, I can affirm that it would be a mistake to give in to the temptation to go it alone. This is not a Greek crisis or a Spanish crisis or a French crisis. It is a European crisis. And a European crisis requires European solutions.
Time is running out. In countries like Spain we run the risk of consolidating a lost generation. The burden of adjustment cannot continue to fall on those who are most vulnerable. A stronger focus needs to be put on jobs and growth and redistribution.
The decisions that affect us all need to be decided democratically and in the open – starting with the election of the President of the European Commission – and not behind closed doors. For our shared European institutions to recover their legitimacy, they must cease to be the property of national governments (especially the strongest).
This is why I am running for the European Parliament, alongside colleagues from the 28 member states of the Union as part of Martin Schulz’s team. The Party of European Socialists (PES) is the only actor capable of providing an alternative to the existing Europe of conservatives.
If the Union is to succeed in this coming century, we must remember the founding European ideals of a shared space of peace, democracy, prosperity and solidarity. A vote for the PES is not just a vote for change. It is also a vote for recovering the European dream.
by Javi López
PSC's main candidate in the European Elections