Building on the ruins
Building on the ruins
Eurocritical politicians are often put down as gloomy types who are always negative. The opposite is true. If the SP has criticisms to level at the greed merchants in Brussels, it’s because we believe, as do most people in the Netherlands and in Europe, that an end must be put to this neoliberal, interfering, wasteful “Brussels”. We do, however, want to build a Europe in which we cooperate to achieve goals for which there is support, things which are useful. Building on the ruins which European politicians, with the European Commission to the fore, have made of the EU, is a challenge, but it can be done, and with just the same enthusiasm as the Europhiles exhibit in appearing so happy with the actually existing ‘Brussels’.
The worst aspect remains perhaps the fact that many people from inside the Brussels bubble cannot see the ruins they have created, so ensnared are they in their technical jargon and complicated decision making procedures. To be able to see the ruins, you have to escape the bubble. Do that and you’ll see the poverty and unemployment and above all you’ll see the hatred of the ever more thunderous train, however many referenda are held and however many record a result against the spreading power against the spreading power of ‘Brussels’.
Yet it is possible to build on these ruins. If we are to do so, we will first of all have to get rid of the European Commissioners whose primary goal is to put a shine on their own jobs and then pick up lucrative positions at big firms or finance houses. As soon as the European Commission is reformed into a civil service we can get on with some real cooperation, with respect for the neighbourhood as its basis and respect for those people who want to control their own surroundings at school, in the workplace, or when it concerns public services. Then we can construct a ‘Brussels’ that offers help in tackling transborder problems and in which the member states participate and put an end to the ‘Brussels’ which oppresses them and gives birth to a ‘Brussels’ which we can control ourselves.
Building on the ruins can of course have a broader significance in relation to Europe. There are ruins which result from appallingly violent attacks. Ruins which result from a lack of solidarity and humanity; but as far as the Brussels bubble is concerned, you can simply translate this to the local and the national level. We are not going to slump down in despair. We are not going to say that the ruins are nice enough after all. We are going to build with people who, like us, believe in human dignity, equality and solidarity. I wish all of my readers a very good year of building.