Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday liberty blogging - Time for European Civil Society

By reading the news these days, I can't stop asking myself "Why don't they discuss those questions at a more European level?"

Problems of unemployment could be discussed better at a bigger scale. Problems of milk price should be discussed on multiple countries that produce milk. Problems of European universities versus giant universities from China or the US should be discussed among a council of university managers...

Indeed, Europe has working institutions, working agencies, awfully efficient lobbies, working-so-far agricultural policies... but we don't have a working civil society.

You could count famous European-wide NGOs, labour unions, newspapers, political forums... on the fingers of one hand! Few exist and most are unknown to Europeans.

OK, there are some problems to solve: languages, different definitions of words (like the English "liberal" very different from the French "libéral")... but I think those problems can be solved. I think the real problem is the hidden agenda of people with national interests and no transnational interests.

For this reason, I think it would be wise to encourage initiatives like "transnational regions", administrative regions that spread on two or more countries, for instance a region that includes parts of France and Spain, across the Pyrénées. The possibility to have a quantity of political power on transnational scale will help a new civil society emerge.

It's time for a European Civil Society!