July 9, 2010
As we are now in a period of European crisis, where some people believe that the European idea is near to be dead, I really enjoyed reading the analysis made by Mr Ignacio Molina for the Real Instituto Elcano. For those who read Spanish, this article is to be found here.
Well, Mr Ignacio Molina reminds us all what the European integration brought to Spain to consolidate its economy and, may be even more important, the democracy. One of his references is José Ortega y Gasset that he quotes, stating in 1910, “Spain is the problem and Europe the solution” so that “regeneration cannot be separated from Europeanization”.
Indeed, this Spanish point of view on European integration process is refreshing. I would rather think that the paramount influence of European Union for the successful democratization and pacification of Old Continent societies, like the Spanish one has been largely forgotten among all the historical 6 Members (France, Germany, Benelux and Italy). The idea of purely economical links between our countries can surely fit with the immediate interests of our citizens. However, a project can be built up only over generations, if there is any project.
Having read Mr Molina analysis, I would rather think that Europe is a project for Spain, and not only a process driven by the events or temporary interests. This could be an explanation for the enduring consensus on Europe that spreads over all the relevant political parties and among the public opinion, in which welfare, development, democracy and strengthening of the Nations are considered as being the fruits of European integration.
Finally, I would think that the comfort we are living in since 1945, at least among the 6 founding members, we tend towards forgetting some basic principles, like fragility of democracy and freedom. This is not the best way to handover a to our followers what we inherited from our fathers or grandfathers. Therefore, when some countries are still wondering whether European Defence is dead, I would take as a strong warning the statement of Mr Molina, according whom, Spain, sooner or later would be tempted to play its own role on the international scene, because of the stumbling European external policy. This temptation cannot be fully excluded: Spain has now turned the page of dictatorship since a while and is completely back on the international scene.
As for European Defence or in this case, European interests, refers, this would be painful: the traditional area of Spanish influence, Latin America and area of interest, Mediterranean Sea are both of interest for Europe as well. South America because of it emerging markets, for which we need stability and Mediterranean Sea where the migratory flow of population is all but to stop.Author : f.