« L'Europe se fera dans les crises et elle sera la somme des solutions apportées à ces crises »—Jean Monnet
It’s Functionalism, once again.
We have seen it with the Eurocrisis: a common currency without a fiscal union is unstable; either we go forward with fiscal integration, or we go backward towards national currencies (and eventually, backward again, towards national goods and capital markets).
We have seen it with the migrants’ crisis: the lacking of common border controls, coupled with the mirage of freedom of movement, has created an unprecedented wave of migration which single states are unable to control. Either we go forward with a true joint border control, or we go backward, limiting on a permanent basis freedom of movement, the abolition of frontiers, and the common asylum provisions.
Now, we are seeing it again, under the bloody light of Paris attacks: freedom of movement, if unsupported by proper institutions, is unstable. Europe did not complete its space of freedoms. Freedoms don’t exist in a vacuum: they require institutions to defend them. Common freedom requires common guardians and common provisions that can defend it. But European Freedom of movement is harmless: it is missing a common body of criminal legislation, a common federal police, and serious cooperation of armed forces.
As it was reported earlier this year in a report by the French secret services, the “lack of cooperation, integration, and joint operations of national secret services facilitate crossborder actions from armed terrorist groups”. And indeed, many of the Paris attackers came from Molenbeek, a somehow depressed area of Brussels where I lived myself for few years. Weapons for the attacks are reported to come from Germany; suicide bombers, arrived from Syria.
This disaster, this unbearable loss of human life could have been prevented with an appropriate degree of Europeanisation of security services. Once more, nationalism is to blame for a bloodbath in Europe; once more, the EU incompletedness lays at the roots of its falling.
The solution, once more, can’t be “more of the same”: either we proceed in integrating further, or we go back and remove the dysfunctional integration we have had so far. Freedom of movement requires proper institutions; left alone, can be exploited and turned against the very values that underpin it. We just witnessed it.
One more thing we must aknwoledge. Nationalism is to blame for having vetoed the degree of integration which would have fundamentally prevented such a massacre. However, and it is sad to say, Madame Le Pen is not wrong when she says “the solution is to close France’s borders permanently”.
Insulated Nation States, indeed, are in a stable functional equilibrium. Marine Le Pen proposes one solution: which is tremendously costly, which would cast France centuries behind; but undeniably a solution. Simply, this is not the only solution. Not differently from any other functional crisis- a crisis created by partial integration- there is a forward functional solution, and a backward functional solution. The forward case requires completing integration with the missing pillars; the backward case, removing the partial integration achieved so far.
Marine Le Pen promotes the latter: we, of course, promote the former. Insulated Nation States might be in a stable functional equilibrium: but a full-fledged European federation would equally be in equilibrium. As much as in functional equilibrium than the previous, but pareto-efficient: the added values, in respect to the national solution, are enormous.
But let’s be clear: Europe is harmless because is in a situation of multiple functional disequilibria simultaneously, in many fields. And a simultaneous solution is to be found, either in our proposals for an European Federation, or in Mme Le Pen’s: In medio (non) stat virtus.
Microgravity environment for social thinkers