No longer business as usual

How many times in the past have we heard "no more business" as usual? Closely following the last informal European summit, there were names of candidates who certainly stand for different policies. However our call for responding to the deepest quests in the member states' societies and what are the resulting changes seem to be veiled by the statement of too many European leaders realizing that finally the right extreme and anti-Europeans will not have a group of the size which could have too much impact in the policy making.

It reminds a little about Macron’s statement when he won against Le Pen in the French elections or Rutte’s when he won against Wilders in the Netherlands. Just as black and white thinking is not helpful, not to see the signs and hear the messages it is only a patch, not a definitive win over these forces - as stated in my comment from last Monday.

The new nationalists are gaining ground and their climb has not stopped yet. Their ideas convince more and more people as they penetrate into the core of our societies. Delivering good policies in the areas of social and environmental sustainability can help, but only represents one part of the puzzle.

Again: we have to win the hearts, minds and souls of citizens starting by demystifying the arguments of the nationalists which are merely mermaids chants. The work plan of the next Commission must be based on ideas rather than it staying a market in which we trade policies for Salvinins and Strache representatives.

People are looking for guidance, slogans do not fill the empty gap. It’s not for the first time that we have to underline that civil society organisations are not a lobby instrument, but do advocacy based on the sensitiveness of what is the pulse of our European societies. Civil dialogue is complementary to social dialogue. Only by integrating social forces into the policy making, and not by speaking to instead of listening to citizens and their representatives, we can achieve the policy change that is needed.

The outgoing Commission pretended to be our "last chance". What will the incoming Commission say? We touch ground? Well, being grounded helps and we can assist on that. Understand not the sounds of silence, but the noise made by those who are ready to turn away from the essential values of well understood liberal democracy in Europe. Still not too late!

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