July 7th 2017

27th Freudenstadt Symposium on European Regionalism

«Shaping the way forward»

Europe needs a comprehensive gentle renovation - A re-foundation by the European citizens and for the European citizens

Keynote-thesis from Andi Gross (St-Ursanne/Jura/Switzerland)

8 hypotheses to introduce a necessary debate

Nationalisms, isolationisms and populisms are backward orientated reac­tions to the wild globalisation of the markets and the economy as well as the erosion of the power of democracy and the state, which the wild glo­balisation produced.

The state cannot provide anymore the social protection many citizens need today and look forward to get. Also the national democracy can not realize anymore what is one of its promises: A fair distribution of the life chances.

«National policies became hostages of the transnational investors»; na­tio­nal sovereignty is lost to the global financial market; «the integration of the world economy lead to a disintegration of national societies» ( Dani Rodrik).

The EU did not compensate the consequences of the lost of national sovereignty; on the contrary: the EU became a push-factor of the wild globalisation; it helped to establish the hegemony of the markets and its logics of competition and concurrence. That is why the EU is in a double out- and in-put-crises; its elite-nature generates enormous anti-elite and anti-system-attitudes.

A socially more engaged EU needs first a clear democratisation. That is why the new French president speaks about a new foundation of the EU. Most urgent is the democratisation of the Euro-countries by a parlia­men­ta­ry Assembly of the Euro-countries, which replaces the power of the Euro-finance-ministers and is the condition for more fiscal-, tax- and social-policy-power for the Euro-countries.

More profoundly, the treaties have to be transformed in a European fe­de­ral constitution; federal in the German sense as a antitheses to the cen­tra­li­sation the economic market logic produced. In this constitution, also the regional and other subnational-structures might be re-empowered.

Our democracy today is similar to the rudder of a boat; the boat lies in the water, but this rudder does not touch the water anymore. Some people do not mind. We have to prolong the rudder. This would mean a trans-natio­na­lization of democracy. The people’s sovereignty would be restored al­though the national sovereignty is relativized.

Such a renovated EU and such a transnational democracy do com­pen­sate what the nation-state lost in the time of the wild globalisation of the economy. These are our progressive alternatives to the backwards ori­ented isolationism, nationalism and populisms. They are worth all our efforts.

Kontakt mit Andreas Gross

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