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Ue: Leaving the euro means destroying Europe, says Bonino

The nationalist messages on the future of the EU are simple but false. And leaving the euro means destroying Europe. With these clear words Foreign Minister Emma Bonino underscored her pro-Europe message in her speech at the conference on “2014 – A decisive year for the European Federation” in Bologna today. While Minister Bonino did not hide the EU’s difficulties in some sectors, she underscored that the time is right to create a different Europe that is more in line with the current political and economic situation.

Nationalist messages are simple but false, and unhelpful to our children’s future

“The message of a return to a nationalistic system is simple and understandable. But it’s false. It doesn’t work. Breaking the euro could maybe help someone win an election, but it won’t help us organise our children’s future. And leaving the euro means destroying Europe”. For Minister Bonino, “one of the theories most commonly, and successfully, used is the ‘scapegoat’ theory, because it makes all the others innocent parties. Blaming everything on Europe is a hypocrisy, a hypocrisy that will get results, including in the next election campaign”.

The current political and economic situation should, however, be the starting point for a different perspective. “We must put two questions together: the fact that Europe, as it is, is no longer adequate, while we want more Europe, a different Europe. The ‘European project’ is the only one we have: it needs some ‘tender loving care’ and adjustments, especially from the younger generations”.

European army a rational but distant hypothesis

And a European army is a key issue around which the “European project” could advance, not least in the run-up to the December Council, where defence will be one of the principal topics for discussion.

“In Europe we have 28 armies, using technology that is barely compatible and exhibiting proven inefficiencies”, explained the Foreign Minister. Bonino underscored that “it would be rational to claim that a European army is needed, but that won’t happen. Maybe we’ll make some progress on harmonisation, maybe we’ll obtain approval for maritime security. But not much else”.

“The European army would also have a problem: without democratic accountability, who would command it? The problem, for defence as in other areas, is not that of giving more power to Brussels, but of building a shared democracy”.

With our federalist position on the EU, we’re swimming against the tide

On one point, however, Emma Bonino reiterated her positive view of the European federalist project. An option that, for the time being, seems remote, as the Minister herself pointed out.

“Our federalist view of the European Union is at present a lone voice in European capitals. We’re swimming against the tide on this issue. Everyone else prefers inter-governmental solutions that entail a lessening of the value of the European Parliament”, explained the Foreign Minister. She reiterated her position of “putting together those issues that work better together. Spinelli [Altiero Spinelli, European federalist and ‘Founding Father of the European Union’] spoke of army and defence. We need to add infrastructure and research, and, I would add, immigration”.

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