An Appeal to the European People to Dare the Impossible

Michel Herland
Economist, honorary professor at the Universities of Aix-en-Provence and at the University of the Antilles and Guiana, member of the UEF-South France (PACA) and member of the editorial board of Fédéchoses

Michel Dévoluy
Osons enfin les États-Unis d’Europe [Let's finally dare the United States of Europe]
Vérone Éditions, Paris, 2019

Michel Dévoluy, University professor, holder of a Jean Monnet Chair in European economics, in his new book launches an appeal to the European people to mobilize themselves for the implementation of the Federation announced so long ago (Kant, Hugo) and never really achieved. If the readers of The Federalist Debate, or the UEF militants, do not need to be convinced of the necessity of this federation, professor Dévoluy's short but dense book has the merit of dotting the I’s on many subjects.

For example, the fact that the construction of Europe is not only necessary in the name of the ideals of peace and fraternity: Europe, “an economic giant but a political dwarf”, has an urgent need to better defend its interests in a world where the United States (of America) impose their laws shamelessly (see the aggressive judgments against European companies), while China pushes its pawns everywhere and Russia remains in ambush. Another strong idea of the book: the federalists must have the lucidity to recognize that a truly political union at 27 is not on the agenda. It must be admitted that the Federation will only be built on a narrower basis, made by sufficiently homogeneous countries.

Mr. Dévoluy considers that the Euro Area has the appropriate dimension and that it is true that the presence of a common currency is already a major step forward, which, anyway, logically needs to be completed by the political union. Let's accept it, even if one wonders whether the recurring difficulties of the eurozone are not a sign of excessive heterogeneity.

Mr. Dévoluy shows also very well, on the one hand, the link between the refusal of the federation and liberalism (fiscal and social dumping, etc.), and, on the other hand how on the contrary the federation is the necessary, if not the sufficient, condition for the advent of the social Europe expected by the European people. And this is, of course, the argument that federalists must constantly put forward to mobilize the public opinion.

Mobilizing public opinion to put pressure on the European Parliament, which will, in turn, put pressure on the European Council, is the path advocated by Mr. Dévoluy. It is useless to wait for the Heads of state and government to spontaneously offer their prerogatives on the altar of Europe. M. Dévoluy recalls that the Council is a “spontaneous” creation (in 1974) of the Heads of state concerned about the growing importance of the European institutions, which, however, became itself an official institution of the European Union only with the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty (in 2007). While all kinds of challenges (strategic, economic, social, environmental) accumulate, which make the federation more and more necessary, the federalists are not able to let themselves be heard, perhaps because they do not know what to say. The “little” book of Mr. Dévoluy is thus the guide they need to set off again on campaign.

Translated by Gabriele Casano

Centro Studi sul Federalismo

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