L’Europe et le dégoût du “citoyen”

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L’Europe et le dégoût du “citoyen”

... En effet se pose plus que jamais la question de la “citoyenneté” européenne lorsqu’on mesure le gouffre abyssal entre l’action de l’Europe dite-institutionnalisée, et le sentiment des Européens de différentes nationalités vis-à-vis de l’Europe. Le phénomène, notamment répercuté par Eurobaromètre, mais aussi par d’autres données statistiques, est particulièrement impressionnant en cette année 2013. Il reflète une énorme évolution psychologique prenant en compte la multiplicité des conditions de crise et élaborant une nouvelle vision de l’Europe.

On trouve ci-dessous un texte de Vladimir Nesterov, de Sytrategic-Culture.org, du 19 mai 2013 sur cet aspect de la situation européenne. On y trouve, essentiellement pour notre propos qui concerne l’équilibre psychologique des perceptions, l’effondrement de la confiance de ses “citoyens” dans l’Europe ; on y trouve également, comme causes opérationnelles constante de cette évolution catastrophique, la situation du chômage dans les pays de l’UE, celle du chômage des plus jeunes, etc. L’article cite un expert du Conseil Européen sur les Relations Extérieures, observant que«la plus grave menace serait de sauver l’euro et de perdre le citoyen européen...» Certes, sauver l’euro ce n’est pas encore fait, mais perdre le “citoyen européen” c’est comme si c’était fait.

«Figures from Eurobarometer, the EU's polling organization, analyzed by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a think tank, show a vertiginous decline in trust in the EU – a real shock for Berlin, the genuine European capital, and Brussels, which is the formal one accordingly. The EU confidence index has hit unprecedented record low. Euroscepticism is going strong in the South, hit hardest by the ongoing crisis…

»The most dramatic fall in faith in the EU has occurred in Spain, where the banking and housing market collapse, Eurozone bailout and runaway unemployment have combined to produce 72% «tending not to trust» the EU, with only 20% «tending to trust». For comparison, in 2009 the figure was 56%. In Italy the figure plummeted from 52% to 31%.

»The confidence in the European Union has gone down in relatively prosperous states. Five years ago, 56% of Germans “tended to trust” the EU, whereas 59% now “tend to mistrust”. In France, the mistrust has risen from 41% to 56%. In Italy, where public confidence in Europe has traditionally been higher than in the national political class, the mistrust of the EU has almost doubled from 28% to 53%. In Britain, where Eurobarometer regularly finds majority Euroscepticism, the mistrust has grown from 49% to 69%, the highest level with the exception of the extraordinary turnaround in Spain.

»José Ignacio Torreblanca, a Senior Research Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank and head of its Madrid office, compares the growing skepticism sweeping across Europe to a virus from which no one is able to escape. The entire continent is infected, the Spanish political scientist says, “The most surprising result was that almost all Europeans saw themselves as victims”, Torreblanca said. “Both debtors and creditor countries basically feel that they lost control of what they are doing”. Tasked with analyzing the findings for the Council, he offers the conclusion that, “There is a strong correlation between the economic situation and trusting the EU”. The expert emphasizes that “They are forced to accept decisions with the idea that there is no other alternative”. He points out that the Germans were asked to keep endorsing bailout packages because there would be no other alternative; Southern Europeans had to agree to further austerity measures. As to him, “The idea of democracy is being removed in the sense that democracy is not only about electing people but also about choosing from different alternatives. With these alternatives removed there's an increase of disaffection”. The biggest threat would be to save the euro currency, but to lose EU citizens, Torreblanca warned. [...]

»The constantly growing unemployment rate is a direct result of the ongoing. recession. The EU’s statistical office Eurostat published new data, showing that for the first time unemployment in the Eurozone has hit 12% in February 2013, up from 10.9% a year ago. For the EU 27, the rate is 10.9%, slightly higher than the 10.2% in February 2012. In total, the number of job-seekers in February jumped to 19,071 million, almost two million more than the previous year. For the EU 27, the total number of unemployed stood at 26,338 million, more than two million more that in 2012.

»Unemployment is higher in the Eurozone in comparison with other EU states. It gives one pause. Perhaps Vaclav K, the head of Czech Republic, was right preventing his country from joining the Eurozone. In any case, the Czech unemployment is just 7.2% while it is twice as much - 14.6% - in the neighboring Slovakia.

»The individual states data-list presents the following picture (from high to low): Greece – 26.4%, Spain - 26.3%, Portugal – 17.5%, Slovakia – 14.6%, Latvia – 14.3%, Ireland – 14.2%, Cyprus – 14%, Lithuania – 13.1%, Bulgaria – 12.5%, Italy – 11.6%, Hungary – 11.2%, France – 10.8%, Poland – 10.6%, Estonia – 9.9%, Slovenia – 9.7%, Sweden – 8.2%, Finland – 8.1%, Belgium – 8.1 %, Great Britain – 7.7%, Denmark – 7.4%, the Czech Republic – 7.2%, Romania – 6.7%, Malta – 6.6%, the Netherlands – 6.2%, Luxemburg – 5.5%, Germany – 5.4%, Austria – 4.8%. According to the European Commission, the unemployment rate is “the tragedy for Europe”… “Such unacceptably high levels of unemployment are a tragedy for Europe and a signal of how serious a crisis some Eurozone countries are now in. The EU and its member states have to mobilize all available instruments to create jobs and return to sustainable growth”, said Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Laslo Andor.

»In reality, the unemployment is much higher, because the formal calculations don’t take into account those who stopped looking for a job and those, who are not registered by labor exchange. Part-time employees and persons with very low wages are out of the statistics too.

»The South of Europe: the Pyrenees (Spain, Portugal), Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria make up a disaster-hit zone. The youth unemployment is a real scourge. The figure is 58.4% for Greece, 55.7% for Spain, 38.2% for Portugal and 37.8% for Italy. The labor market dynamics add to the distressing forecast of the European Commission, which states that the rise in unemployment is expected throughout the whole 2013 to be stabilized at a record high level in the first half of 2014. According to International Labor Organization, three categories are the hardest hit: the youth, long-time unemployed and low skilled workers. Every fourth young man is without job. The figure is higher for Greece and Spain. The only country where the jobless youth has not grown is Germany.

»Someone has said the youth is a “barometer of revolution”. Lacking social maturity, it may generate different changes in society. The role of youth in “Arab Spring” is well known. Can some kind of a “European Spring” be excluded? The International Labor Organization experts think the possibility of public unrest in Europe has grown 12 percent than it was before the crisis. The worse is the economic and political situation the more likely public disturbances become. The threat of disorder has grown in Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. It has gone down in Germany, Finland, Belgium and Sweden.

»With unemployment at unprecedented levels in the EU, the risk of social unrest is rising, says the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO), a UN agency seeking to promote labor rights. It is warning politicians to abandon austerity and embrace job creation. “When unemployment is as high as it is right now – as poverty and welfare protection become worse – then the danger of social unrest grows along with it”, says Miguel Angel Malo, a professor of economics in Salamanca and an economics expert at the ILO. The direct link between neoliberal economics programs and the growing chances for public protests is obvious, it the fact that nobody doubts.»