Is Europe a Dead Political Project?

A-demonstrator-throws-a-r-006Étienne Balibar argues that it is in The Guardian:

Within a single month, we have witnessed Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece announcing his country's possible default, an expansive European rescue loan offered to him on the condition of devastating budget cuts, soon followed by the “downgraded rating” of the Portuguese and Spanish debts, a threat on the value and the very existence of the euro, the creation (under strong US pressure) of a European security fund worth €750bn, the Central European Bank's decision (against its rules) to redeem sovereign debts, and the announcement of budget austerity measures in several member states.

Clearly, this is only the beginning of the crisis. The euro is the weak link in the chain, and so is Europe itself. There can be little doubt that catastrophic consequences are coming.

In response, the Greek protests have been fully justified. First, we have been witnessing a denunciation of the whole Greek people. Second, once again the government has betrayed its electoral promises, without any form of democratic debate. Lastly, Europe did not display any real solidarity towards one of its member states, but imposed on it the coercive rules of the IMF, which protect not the nations, but the banks.

The Greeks were the first victims, but they will hardly be the last, of a politics of “rescuing the European currency” – measures which all citizens ought to be allowed to debate, because all of them will be affected by the outcome. However, to the extent that it exists, the discussion is deeply biased, because essential determinations are hidden or dismissed.

In its current form, under the influence of the dominant social forces, the European construction may have produced some degree of institutional harmonisation, and generalised some fundamental rights, which is not negligible, but, contrary to the stated goals, it has not produced a convergent evolution of national economies, a zone of shared prosperity. Some countries are dominant, others are dominated. The peoples of Europe may not have antagonistic interests, but the nations increasingly do.