Publiceret: 29.09.2016Af Peter G. H. Madsen mail
Just two generations ago, Europe was ravaged by war, death and destruction. Now many children hardly know what a border is. This is an unique development that underlines what a fantastic project the EU is.
This was the message from First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans when he visited the Confederation of Danish Industry Summit at the Opera House in Copenhagen on Tuesday. But he also recognised that popular scepticism about the EU is on the rise.
“But if people are dissatisfied with the EU, let’s not try and avoid the issue. On the contrary, we need to tackle things head-on. Dismantling the EU will solve nothing.”
See also: Young Europeans want to fight for EU
According to Timmermans, the way forward is to recognise and accept that popular scepticism exists, a justified scepticism about the future and the developments currently taking place in Europe. It is no use trying to brush this scepticism aside as irrational.
It is also important that governments do not try to pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate. If governments promise to create a safe and predictable world as it looked in 1950 or 1960, they are wrong.
They cannot do that. Even more importantly, they should not – the future is very bright if only Europe is prepared to grab it.
“Europe can win the world. We are the continent with the highest level of education, the best infrastructure and the best distribution of resources between rich and poor. We are in pole position to win the future.”
Timmermans also took the opportunity to give national parliaments and political parties a talking-to.
“I ask only one thing of governments and political parties. And that is that they recognise that they are just as much a part of the EU as we are,” said Timmermans and added:
“Paradoxically, when we talk about the EU, we talk about the institutions in Brussels. But the real EU is not Brussels. It is the Danes and all the other Europeans travelling around Europe.”
I ask only one thing of governments and political parties. And that is that they recognise that they are just as much a part of the EU as we are.