WHAT IF EUROPE’S FIRST PROBLEM WAS ITS LACK OF COMMUNICATION?
The fourth chapter of my book, The Killer Idea, originally published in French in 2009, is titled « From Idea to Ideology ». In it, I dedicate a chapter to the European Idea, a grand idea if there ever was one, explaining why – in terms of the theories developed in my book – it was not working, for lack of an incarnation through a spokesperson and a project. Here is the excerpt verbatim:
“An ideology loses steam if it has poor communications. The European idea was born under the best auspices: a favorable context (the wish for European harmony after two World Wars), an incontestably subversive force (« What if we created a meta-nation? »), remarkable founders/spokesmen (Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman), a successful launch (the European Coal and Steal Committee), and a powerful symbol (the blue flag with 12 stars). Yet, the communication has no uncontested truth, it has no manifesto since the Treaty of Rome, Europeans have not recently had any reasons to believe (they’ve only seen poorly planned territorial extensions and a rise in prices with the conversion to the Euro) and most important, there is no charismatic spokesperson for 21st century Europe.”
Five years later, my analysis remains the same. In every election, either citizens vote FOR (a candidate or a project), or they vote AGAINST. Without positive arguments, Europe only gave reasons to vote against it. If Europe doesn’t communicate and doesn’t embody a project, it will end up in the cemetery of utopias. My conclusion to this paragraph was ‘the more an idea wears, the more difficult and dangerous it becomes to relaunch it.” Let’s not wait until the next European elections to attempt to awaken the communication a week before elections that are lost before they even begin. Of course communication is nothing without action, and Europe must without a doubt make reforms in order to re-form its project; (I am one of those people who believe that a President of Europe elected by universal suffrage is indispensable). But it is useless to attack the media for not treating any European subjects positively if Europe does not give them any positive subjects to discuss! It is urgent, if not vital, for Europe to learn to communicate by giving people new reasons to love and adopt it. By giving European citizens a desire for Europe. And by reigniting the ideological flame. In the hope that it isn’t too late.