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The European Union on its own “Brexit eclipse”

On the 24th of June, the world woke up to the news that the United Kingdom as a whole country had decided to leave the European union. The result of the British referendum combined with the Spanish vote where Podemos assured its third position as a political force in the country it could simply signify the beginning of a new chapter in Europe.

One of the big stories of last year’s election was the rise of Podemos (“We can”), a left-wing ,some call it populist , party that has called for increasing welfare benefits, ending corruption, and changing EU policy to focus less on austerity and low inflation.Due to Brexit and the uncertainty of what is going to happen next, Podemos they could lose a number of voters, who wouldn’t like to see the same thing happening in Spain. However, i don’t think Spain will leave the EU as anti-EU sentiment is a rare thing to see in Spain.

“A sad day for Europe. We should change our path. Nobody would like to move away from an honest and united Europe. We should change Europe,” Pablo Iglesias tweeted, reacting to the referendum results in Britain.

What the people live today in Britain is one more facet of the crisis of capitalism in which globalization has attributed a lot as there is a big gap of social standards between the countries where the consumption of products has a surplus of what their industry really manufactures and from where we import them.

The Neoliberal policies and globalisation reached their zenith when poverty and misery in both the third world and the developed countries grow worse. In the western world this caused the rise and “normalisation” of extreme right-wing fanatical, xenophobic and often racist factions and parties which have marked political developments in numerous Member States, even Sweden.

As the European Union’s political crisis has been amply demonstrated especially regarding the Greek problem, the EU leaders continue to present this crisis as a financial-economic one. That is the case if, the ruling elites of the country rule it acting as capitalist agents & technocrats who manage their countries as they do to their entreprises. These agents may reach to the point to steal money from banks in order to finance its “broke” euro- currency (Cyprus case of euro). Nonetheless, from the other side, the people of Europe while they’re facing this reality they discredit their representatives, for whom they had pledged to vote in the past, as well their country’s institutions which try to define their collective future without consulting them.

The other side of the problem in Europe is the weakness we find to coordinate political and social forces which have been directly affected by globalization and austerity measures. Because of the absence of a pan-European call for democratisation and civil progress for a peaceful coexistence between these countries or between Christians, Jews and Muslims (only DiEM25 says something relevant about this issue) it proves that in today’s Europe the obvious rights do not fall into the plans defined by the ruling elites.

In today’s Europe, in the name of competitiveness and free competition, the central core of coordination within the whole european structure raises doubts. This central core includes policies regarding peace, security, the wellbeing of individuals and communities and lead social economy initiatives. For the United Kingdom, the EU was just the single market. the EU  mostly the access to the  single  market. We must see that behind the Brexit there’s an opportunity today in Europe to strengthen more its social core. Uk was always an obstacle to more social Europe because of its neoliberal policies.  Two examples why this central core raises doubts is the situation in France and Uk the last months.  

The unemployment rate in France has been steadily on the rise and is now at just over 10%. As a comparison, the UK’s rate is nearly half of that at 5,5%. The French government seeks to fight the high unemployment rate by liberalizing the labour law, making it more flexible and thus encouraging companies to hire people.

france unemployement rate

united kingdom unemployment rate

Flexibility, however, comes at the price of lower worker protection, especially protection against lay-offs. The government proposal seeks to make it easier for companies to fire workers if the company is in economic difficulties.Concerning now  the UK,  the rise of  Zero-hours contracts which are disproportionately offered to more vulnerable workers with weak bargaining power in sectors such as hotels and food services, health and social work, raises concerns. The UK’s elites are using cheap casual labour to cut costs and avoid commitments to their workforce.  The more flexible labour market as described above is the last step before the European workers become the modern-day slaves of the globalised financial system.

brexit cartoon

During the Brexit campaing, an even more instructive term of propaganda used by Farage came a couple of days just before the vote, when he predicted it would be a victory for “real people.” Apparently, for Farage and friends, Brexit’s English opponents,urban cosmopolitans, are no longer “real.” They are inauthentic as a result of their education and willingness to embrace cultures they were not born into. By insinuation, then, the only authentic people are the ignorant and the incurious.

Given that no European people can save themselves when the other european people are sinking increasingly into poverty and social uncertainty, it is pointless to  discuss the European social model and to plan resistance to globalization only in one European country. 

When we now notice also in practice that the incomplete European integration leads to  totalitarianism , social exclusion , disintegration and a decomposition of the whole structure of the EU itself ,we have to undertake the  challenge of the European integration as a matter of priority! For capitalists this a matter of time and money but for all Europeans this is a matter of our lives and for our future generations as well.

Image credit: Flickr

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