We Need a Europe for the Peoples of Europe and a Europe of Equality and Social Rights.

Op-ed by newly appointed Member of the European Parliament, Pernando Barrena, on the challenges of Europe in the upcoming term

News / 13.8.19

In the very few weeks that I’ve been a member of the European Parliament I came to the realisation the rise of the extreme right, Brexit, and euroscepticism and racism are not the biggest threats for Europe as a political project.  The biggest peril for Europe is its institutional system, its democratic deficit, and specially the lack of transparency and accountability.

Left leaning forces and those who defend the right to self-determination, however, must raise their voice against all of them.

If the institutions do not listen they will continue on a path to discredit themselves and the endanger the European project.

The latest example of this we have with the nomination of Europe’s “top jobs”: the European council president, European Central Bank president, European parliament president, the High representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy and more worryingly the European commission president. In this case the nomination completely disregards the system of spidzenkandidaten that run in the European Elections. Hence, the democratic deficit and disconnect from citizens is growing bigger.

We need a change, a real change, we need to champion a Europe closer to the citizens, we need a Europe for the peoples of Europe and a Europe of Equality and social rights.

Pernando Barrena, newly elected MEP on the May 2019 European elections, spoke at a Coppieters Foundation event in Santiago de Compostela (Galiza). Event was co organised with Fundacion Galiza Sempre.