This post, I’m afraid, will only be of interest to my European Union readers. If you are not a E.U. citizen, sorry, and thanks for visiting.
Fellow Europeans, it is very important for you to go and vote in the coming European elections. Indeed, the European parliament in Strasbourg is the only democratically elected European institution, and it is important in this specific opportunity to make our voice and our vote heard.
- It is important because, following the 2008 financial crisis, the Union had to take a more important role in order to help the countries most affected by the crisis, and this revealed the need for a more transparent and more democratic E.U. decision process.
- It is important because we now realize that a common market will end up implying common food and product safety services, among others: when the next food safety crisis occurs, it will make no sense to have state-specific reactions for products that circulate in the whole of the Union.
- It is important because subjects that matter a lot in technology, such as privacy, net neutrality, or competition regulation, are by necessity increasingly decided at the E.U. level, when they aren’t already.
- It is important because, in contrast with the common market, we still have made little to no progress on common social protections and labor laws, and the contrast between these two situations is more and more noticeable, hampering development of a common personal services market.
- It is important so that, as the geopolitical situation evolves, we can have a credible E.U. foreign affairs department that can claim to represent the European people.
But most importantly, it is important for as many of you as possible to cast your vote, in order to make the parliament’s legitimacy indisputable so as to give it real decision power over E.U. affairs, rather than have our fates decided by less democratic, parochially charged negotiations between the head of states. So for these reasons, and many others, go vote for your European parliament representatives in the next few days1.
And be wary of these sovereignty parties who promise you a better tomorrow but in fact only offer at best unconstructive criticism of the unification process, and do not detail how they could possibly manage either (depending on the situation) getting out of the Euro, or out of the Schengen zone, or out of any other E.U. commitment, as their cure could very well be worse than any disease.
In fact, while I vote this Sunday, May the 25th 2014 in France, I learned today that some countries, including the United Kingdom, are voting today already, which is another thing we may need to agree on: how can we have a pan-European election campaign if not every country votes at the same time?↩