Citizens of the European Member States seem to be resorting back to Euroscepticism and show clear signs of cold feet regarding the single market / single currency project (reality?). According to the December 2012 Eurobarometer, 40% of the population of the EU Member States is against the European economic and monetary union with a single currency (with an additional 7% showing scepticism or, simply, lack of knowledge about the project).
|Source: Standard Eurobarometer 78, December 2012, p. 16.|
|Source: Standard Eurobarometer 78, December 2012, p. 15.|
These are very worrying data and some are using them to support anti-EU movements. I think that is both opportunistic and dangerous. Talks about taking steps back and pulling out of the Eurozone and/or the EU usually do not follow a thorough consideration of their ultimate implications (some of which are unknown because the construction process has always been considered irreversible).
In my view, the only way out of this accelerating vicious circle is to stop being citizens of a Member State of the European Union and start being EU citizens. Only when most (all) of us realize the massive space of personal freedom and liberties created by the EU project will we be in a position to understand the fundamental importance of remaining involved and to continue working (and sacrificing) to further the EU and finally consolidate it.
That is why I think it ultimately rests on each of us becoming a true EU citizen and to actually get involved in the EU project. I think that this applies specially to younger generations (those of us below 40 now), since we are taking the existence of the EU for granted—much as we take for granted peace and development in this continent, or our constitutional and fundamental rights (given that most of us are ‘post-constitutional children’ and consider that our liberties and personal freedoms are grandfathered and nobody can take them away from us). It would be a disaster if we were proven wrong and, at some point, we had to start telling bonfire stories about the long-gone EU.
Lecturer in Law, University of Hull