What is wrong with the EU and why does the EU need a new vision? Is the EU new vision to become a republic? Or what can we still expect from the EU?
The European Union is morally and culturally bankrupt, according to German philosopher and historian Ulrike Guérot. It’s time to put the EU project to its grave. Guérot envisions a European republic that consists of 50 regions around clusters of big cities, with a recognizable identity and shared economic and cultural interest. A decisive Europe that reinvents itself.
With her book Why Europe Must Become a Republic, she positions herself in a tradition of politically utopian thinkers. After having worked for almost twenty years on the building of the European Union, within various EU think tanks, it all suddenly became clear to her during the bailout of Cyprus in 2013: this Europe is bankrupt. Subsequently, one crisis followed the other: Greece, Brexit, refugees. With the capper being the election year, we’re facing in Germany, France and the Netherlands, while Brussels doesn’t have a clear answer to the increasing criticism by the growing populist parties.
Guérot compares the state of the current European Union with the WTC during the attacks on 9/11. We stand by and watch how everything collapses. If we do nothing, this European Union will not hold it position up. It's not the many crises in themselves that show a moral and cultural bankruptcy, but the way the European Union deals with it, according to Guérot. This European Union has become a union of money.
Guérot says our values must be rated differently: away from the failed nation states in which many people no longer recognize themselves nor feel represented. In the Middle Ages, Europe knew more than 50 different regions. These regions around town nodes should become the new provinces of the European Republic in which everyone is equal. The Europe of Citizens will then be born and the European Union's elite project will be buried.
How do Guérot's ideas about a European republic sound to politicians, bankers and to the Vatican? A trip across the Europe triangle, from Vienna to Berlin via Brussels, with Guérot.
Original Title: Eurotopia
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2016.