Socrates says decisive EU choice is far-right collaboration or isolation – The Economic Journal

Socrates says decisive EU choice is far-right collaboration or isolation - The Economic Journal

Former prime minister José Sócrates said Europe was the target of a "gale" that changed its political culture in the European elections, the decisive choice is between collaboration or isolation of the extreme right.

These positions are defended by José Sócrates in an article about the elections to the European Parliament that he published in the weekly magazine "Carta Capital" and to which the Lusa agency had access.

In this article, titled "A Chance for Europe", without any reference to Portuguese politics, the former Socialist leader (2004/2011) warns that the experience of the last years of the European Union has shown that nothing can be taken for granted and that the financial crisis (in which he blames the right response) "and the tragedy" of the refugees "were not a small thing, a small exchange of a little less freedom for a little more security.

"Together they represented a political storm of confidence and a serious change in European political culture. In these elections, new choices will be made and begin right away on Election Night [do próximo dia 26]: European politics will tell what to do with the extreme right – collaboration or isolation. This will mark the course and the choice between the two sides of our history – the continent of lights or the continent of darkness. Europe has its second chance, "he says.

In the perspective of José Sócrates, the European Union "played an important role in the world – the voice of peace, the voice of humanist culture, the voice of the world order that seeks legitimacy in law and goes beyond the relation of forces" suddenly, this space became vacant and this political capital was thrown out. "

"Suddenly, the whole European political discourse has changed – language, priorities, even founding principles seem forgotten. We stopped talking about the European social model, cohesion disappeared as an objective of the union and worse, much worse, individual freedom was replaced by the idea of ​​collective security, "he criticizes.

"The ideal of the end of internal borders", according to the leader of the Portuguese executive between 2005 and 2011, "seems to have ended."

"International law is now debatable; individual rights cease to be an absolute to enter into the relativity of political contingency and national interest. This is the wind that blows – without anything or anyone that opposes it, "points out the former prime minister.

For José Sócrates, "what is happening is not a simple political change, but a profound change of political culture".

"The moderating and arbitral power of Europe for whom many people turned in times of distress ceased to be heard," he writes, before questioning "when did all this begin?" "Yes, the economic crisis helped (more properly austerity as a response to the crisis), but in fact, the change had already come. The war in Iraq and the refugee crisis accelerated the movement. Humanist Europe, the idea of ​​a Europe faithful to international law, has come to an end. And just when the world needed more, "he says.

In the opinion of the former prime minister, Europe's main political issues refer to the "old dilemma: after centuries of domination, what is its role in the world – a bridgehead of the American superpower in Eurasia or a political bloc allied with identity and own voice ".

"If the choice is for the second, then the contribution of Europe to the international order can not be other than the projection in the world of the best of its history: the universalism of human rights and the defense of international law, thus becoming an actor political moderator of his transatlantic ally (more needed than ever). This role has often shown its limits, of course, but it is also true that on many occasions this duplicity of roles has proved to be beneficial and productive to world stability, "he adds.

That is to say, emphasizes José Socrates, "if Europe wants to have an autonomous presence in international politics then it needs to recover the prestige and authority it has already had in political affairs that have made it a unique voice in the world – the defense of human rights and international right".

"It seems obvious, however, that it also brings with it an imperative alternative course in its domestic policy: to reject the growing state authoritarianism; reject the limitation of individual rights; and reestablish the idea of ​​law as limiting the power of the State, "stresses in this article

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