Europe in slow motion opinion

In July 2020, the approval of the European “Panzerfaust” was received with joy. This was the nickname that stuck to the EU Next Generation. The recovery plan agreed to tackle the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Member States of the European Union (EU) are waiting for € 750 billion to respond to the economic dimension of the crisis.

However, the bazooka is not yet armed – it is the stain of European integration to get entangled in systematic “Todavias”. According to European regulations, the national parliaments must approve what has been approved by the national leaders of the European Council. Do not delete the previous sentence: it does not end with a criticism of the need for national parliaments to ratify the European Council Agreement; otherwise a constitutional basis was jeopardized. Parliaments have political legitimacy on budgetary issues.

It is about the time in which the national ratification process dragged on. The national parliaments have their own pace and follow a working agenda that is determined autonomously. It is admitted that state legislatures have done minimal work in a pandemic setting, which limits sessions and legislative output. However, it is about approving the recovery plan, which should be high on the priorities. However, the successive waves of the pandemic and the certainty of uncertainty are driving the economy into a deep and deadly crisis. The priorities of national legislators postponing the European bazooka while passively watching the devastating effects of the economic crisis caused by the ongoing pandemic are incomprehensible.

Postponement is a cost burden borne by everyone: national governments, citizens (especially those suffering from the economic vicissitudes of the pandemic), businesses – and the EU itself. Citizens can blame the Union for the delay in completing the European Union Blame the bazooka. The informed citizen must be more demanding. And it needs to gather information on the intricacies of the European negotiations and the EU decision-making process in order not to reach conclusions. In this case, the Union’s guilt cannot be confirmed with such ease. Even if the EU does not break away from the countries that make it up, and although the European and national levels are articulated in the decision-making process, the informed citizen, dissatisfied with the delay in the implementation of the long-awaited bazooka, cannot advocate the guilt of the EU. The decision approving the bazooka had the paternity of the European Council, an institution of the Union in which national leaders (as protagonists) take place. And now we are waiting for the next episode: ratification by the national parliaments.

A faster Europe and more effective decision-making need to be less dependent on the national level. This Europe needs more autonomy

How can the EU be blamed in the face of such a scenario? It is always possible. Because we live in this Union and with these rules. In other words, an EU configured in this way can be held hostage through inertia. It does so for reasons nationally ascribed to lethargy. A faster Europe and more effective decision-making need to be less dependent on the national level. This Europe needs more autonomy. Otherwise, Europe will be besieged by a tangle of national interests, caught in the self-absorption of backward countries acting as blocking forces, breaking the agreements already approved by the vast majority of states. Such a Europe is a fragile Europe. And, to put it very clearly, it is a Europe that is moving away from democratic scrolls (how can minority states prevent the adoption of a decision with the consent of the majority?) And remaining far from the effectiveness that should be innate. We have already claimed almost seventy years of European integration. Why is Europe forced to rely on a consensus that is the euphemism for the dictatorship of the few over the majority?

If the EU (understood in this way) shifts, it betrays the citizens. In the crisis we are going through, the economic crisis is exogenous. It arose from the aftermath of the pandemic, from the need for containment that led to the closure of many economic activities. In addition to the problems caused by the health crisis, political actors (at national and EU level) should use as many resources as possible to mitigate the effects of the economic crisis. It’s been almost eight months since the European bazooka was approved. The money she promises to shoot has yet to be found. The economic crisis isn’t waiting for national parliaments to be unlocked. People who are unemployed and businesses on the verge of bankruptcy cannot stand up for the number of viruses that keep spreading. But they can wake up for life with their direct representatives, the parliaments they have elected.

This is Europe – this Europe that lives on the oxygen of the member states. It looks like an out of tune orchestra: hardworking musicians want to play the symphony at the required speed, and a lazy conductor slowly creeps up on the orchestra’s leadership. In the audience the audience, almost desperate. If EU governments and institutions are not supposed to respond to such a crisis, what are they for?

The author writes according to the new orthographic convention