During the last decade, Europe have been facing different threats; some think that the problems came because of the European Union’s policies, others think that those problems came from abroad, as the crisis; but the truth is that this is a mixture of different factors, from abroad and from inside Europe.
The most important problem was the crisis. It produced an incredible increase of unemployment and reduction of the production, a terrible fall down of the GDP of almost every country of the European Union and strongly reduced the growth expectations for the next years. The crisis was treated with austerity and rigorous fiscal control, led by Germany and supported by the European Parliament. They wanted to reduce the spending of the governments and to increase taxes in some areas. This produced a slow recovery, with up and down moments, with low job creation and with important countries that nowadays downgraded their growth expectancy.
This crisis produced the increase of nationalist movements that weaken the strong western society built before. Why Scotland wanted to be independent? Why Catalonia wants to have its own country? Why is there yet such a division between North and South in Italy? Why countries form the European Union and the Euro Area want to abandon the block? Those are questions that come to my mind all the time, in a moment in which Europe should be united the most. There are several answers: the way of managing the crisis was not good for lot of European citizens; the European Union couldn’t set a strong policy of union between the different regions in the continent; and external problems came up during those years.
Other external and dangerous problem are terrorism, the growing population from other cultures In Europe and the expansion of BRICS.
What happened with Charlie Hebdo is one of those signs that show us which is the real threaten. Muslim and Chinese cultures defend another worldview of life, completely different to the one that we, western people, believe in and support. The worldview that is being violated is the one of freedom, civil rights and opportunities. We should stand against those hazards united, as one culture, because there are not so big differences as we think between countries in Europe, but the difference is clear between us, Europeans, and them, not Europeans.
In order to solve the crisis, Russia, China, India and Brazil are taking markets that Europe had before. Latina America is being invaded by Chinese and Russian capitals. Brazil is also picking the head role in the Latin America region and other countries. Those are not minor problems that Europe has to solve, and the internal problems like scepticism or nationalist movements are not helping at all.
We should understand that what make us one is the common culture that we have. We would never distinguish between a French and a British only because of their clothes or the things they eat. It would be impossible to define if Northern Italy would be better without the South. But we know that we will keep in a good way if we defend what is our and what have been always our, letting our grandsons know what freedom of speech is, what civil rights are and what opportunity means for life.