Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade has been asked to prepare the strategy of LREM (En Marche) for the European elections. His issue is not to work on a program but on a strategy to let emerge after the election a coalition in the European Parliament to support the re-foundation of Europe as designed by Macron. What should he do? What should he propose?
In my very personal opinion he should initiate, on a truly decentralized way, the emergence of a pan-European democratic movement dedicated to the re-foundation of Europe. Hopefully it can be an alliance of existing parties and movements, however it might have to be more than that, in order to make sure the members are serious on the agenda.
I have to confess that I doubt very much that we can quickly build a solid transnational coalition on the re-foundation of Europe as defined by Emmanuel Macron in his speech of La Sorbonne, and as complemented by Bruno Lemaire in his speech on the reform of the Eurozone pronounced in Berlin on Nov 8th, 2017. It would take too much time and we would end with a fairly disappointing compromise, which would not help but on the contrary might limit the French President. Then, although we all cherish this brilliant agenda, I dare to think that it is not the most urgent priority for such a new movement to be created.
In fact the new split line on Europe is not so much on the what but on the how, and this new movement should dare to raise its profile on this new frontier. The key is not to agree on what we want to do but how we want to do it. Whatever we decide to do together, how do we make sure that we finally become efficient and serious on the implementation side, and truly deliver this time what we say we want to deliver? Let us face it, our biggest enemy here is this too well understandable skepticism generated by too many European projects, which delivered so little except too much communication. That’s why the long lists of reforms and even the vibrant call for the revival of the Franco-German couple, how useful they can be, will not make the point. The true key of the future of Europe lies in our capacity and determination to solve the global question of her governance. The rest is almost detail.
With challenges like the climate change, the migration flows, the various new geo-political threats surrounding us, or the new social realities of a nascent digital society we do not have much time for brilliant and endless ideological debates about Europe. People just need efficient European solutions to address their common problems. Now. The time for empty words or for inefficiency is over.
This is why the radical change of the European governance should be at the top of the priorities of this movement. It would fail, and even does not need to be created, if it would not have the courage and the ambition to tackle the core of the European weaknesses. For almost 30 years Europe has been dying of its intergovernmental governance. There will be no European solution, in any field, if there is no efficient European governance. We do not need to launch any new project if this is just to add to the disasters of a Lisbon strategy or a Copenhagen conference, or to the lukewarm and ineffective intentions that we had during the European crisis, and which (at the important exception of the ECB policy), did not fix anything but always preferred to let the poorest of us pay instead of building effective European solutions to the crisis.
It is way time to admit that we need to go back to the supranational governance of Jean Monnet, but without falling into the traps of a governance which was already rejected once, because not being democratic enough. We have to take the efficiency of the European community approach but add some strong democratic elements to it. We would end with projects run by supranational authorities, of democratic origin and democratically controlled.
This would not lead us to the United States of Europe but to an architecture made of few circles, each circle being a European project to work on a concrete European solution to a common problem. Each country would be free to join any particular circle, the various circles would be opened to all, and a democratic supranational authority would run each of them. And each supranational authority would report to the Commission and be controlled by a European Parliament reduced to the representatives of the member states involved in the said circle. And we do not need much institutional change to achieve this.
It would be a real breakthrough if a supranational movement would undertake to finally address the key issue of the European governance.
This movement could not and should not be En Marche Europe or l’Europe en Marche. It can be inspired by the example of En Marche in France, but it can be neither a copy nor a projection of En Marche in Europe. It would run the risk of being seen as the product of the French arrogance and imperialism in a Europe where prejudices against France do exist. The Europeans are keen to admit that they need France to dare to dream about accessing a European sovereignty and to wake up our European Sleeping Beauty. But Europe would immediately coalesce against the arrogance of a young President whom we could rightly or wrongly compare to a new Sun King or another Napoleon. We need to be extremely cautious on this.
My feeling is that we could build a strong coalition on this pragmatic but very audacious approach, and more than a coalition, a very dynamic European movement. Because in big transition times I see people more agile than the old conservative establishments, better understanding where the obstacles are, and more interesting in consequent changes.
Pieyre-Alexandre it is our historical task to give a reality to this wave which can change the destiny of Europe in the XXIth century. Let us dare and be audacious, and finally put the European governance at the center.