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More Europe, less Brussels

Author: Olivier Védrine




The construction of the European Union began over 60 years ago. We have succeeded in completing a single market with a single currency but a political union remains elusive. The founding fathers had imagined a more rapid development.

In the past, low turnout in European elections has reflected a lack of politicization concerning the European debate rather than a real disinterest on the part of the population.

Today, the EU stands at a turning point. Its future depends on how it responds to two great challenges .

On the one hand we have the “paralysis of institutions” . This is caused by the inefficiency of the European Council and the centralized hyper control of the European commission.

 On the other hand, the EU faces “the paralysis of minds” as demonstrated by the resounding “No” from France and the Netherlands when asked to vote on the Constitutional Treaty in 2005.

As a result, we see increasing Euroscepticism and populism of which Brexit is only a symptom. Europeans feel abandoned by the European construction.

Let’s neither forgot nor lose our conviction that our differences are the source of the rich variety of inspirational thinking in Europe.

It is important to preserve our cultural diversity, our nations, our regions and to ensure that our differences can no longer be used  by nationalists to gain power.

With Brexit and the yellow vests protests we are now facing a major political crisis in the EU. 

Brexit is the result of the neoliberal policy of Margaret Thatcher who broke the social fabric of the UK and divided Britain into two different nations. The first of the two, is the nation of people with a job and a future. The second is nation of people who are jobless and without a hope.

It was easy for the first one to believe in European integration and vote against  Brexit.  For the second, European integration means nothing more than a neoliberal system where they can’t find their place.  This second nation is open to populist politics and voted for Brexit out of revenge.

How can we invite people again to take part in the European integration process?

How can we revive the dream of the founding fathers founders of European construction?

 The answer is simple: less Brussels more Europe!

For a lot of European citizens, the EU is the European commission, a group of technocratic people under the influence of lobbyists, supine to the dogma of neoliberalism.

The heart of the EU must be the European parliament not the European commission. 

Even if we stop Brexit, we will not win if we do not propose an alternative view to the technocratic and neoliberal vision of European integration.

If we propose no alternative, a new Brexit will happen and not only in the UK.

We have the Euro but monetary union has been achieved without a political union, without a common European social policy, without tax harmonization.

People have every right to think that this kind of European integration is not for them but rather just for private business, especially large corporations. More and more they are rejecting this neoliberal model of European integration.

The people of Europe feel they are Europeans, they understand that we need Europe to be united but they understand more and more that the Europe they need and want is not represented by the European commission and the European council.

What makes a great power is civil society itself, the desire to adhere to a social model.

Which institution can represent more this civil society and the European people better than the European Parliament?

Articulating a European dream is essential and the carrier of this dream is the European Parliament, the only truly democratic and elected European institution, not another one.

Let’s give power to the European Parliament! The European Parliament can elect a European government; the European citizens will feel the difference between that and the technocratic European commission and useless European council that we have at the moment.

Nowadays the European Union stands alone in the world.  The last elections in the USA demonstrate to take our destiny into our own hands.

The conflict in Ukraine with the war waged by the imperial policy of Putin against this country underlines the need for Europe to be strong.

Only a strong European Union can save the European continent.

We have to save and protect our peoples, our nations, our regions from the return of populism and nationalism.

It is not only the European Union that needs a European dream. The world needs a strong Europe as an example of a strong democracy.


Olivier Védrine

About the Author

Olivier Védrine

Olivier Védrine is a French political scientist and professor and one of very few foreigners who having worked in Russia for many years now resides in Ukraine.

He had until 2018 his own English-language news show on Ukrainian television the “Western Voice with Olivier Vedrine” on Obozrevatel TV station, or Oboz.tv and is the Chief editor of "Russian Monitor" (a newspaper of the Russian opposition) Olivier left Russia in February 2014, where he was the chief editor of the Russian version of the French National Defense Review, in protest at the annexation of Crimea. He previously hosted “Weekly with Olivier Vedrine” on UA.TV and, before that, “UA Tea Time” on First National Channel with Sergiy Velichansky. He has presented more than 150 TV shows for free to support Ukraine. He wrote several articles for famous newspapers in French, English, Russian and Ukrainian languages.

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Olivier Védrine

About the Author

Olivier Védrine

Olivier Védrine is a French political scientist and professor and one of very few foreigners who having worked in Russia for many years now resides in Ukraine.

He had until 2018 his own English-language news show on Ukrainian television the “Western Voice with Olivier Vedrine” on Obozrevatel TV station, or Oboz.tv and is the Chief editor of "Russian Monitor" (a newspaper of the Russian opposition) Olivier left Russia in February 2014, where he was the chief editor of the Russian version of the French National Defense Review, in protest at the annexation of Crimea. He previously hosted “Weekly with Olivier Vedrine” on UA.TV and, before that, “UA Tea Time” on First National Channel with Sergiy Velichansky. He has presented more than 150 TV shows for free to support Ukraine. He wrote several articles for famous newspapers in French, English, Russian and Ukrainian languages.

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