Europe from the bottom up, Bosnian solidarity and EU hypocrisy - weekly comments roundup


A look at this week's best reader comments on our Can Europe make it? debate.

Alex Sakalis
13 June 2013

At Can Europe Make It? we like to discuss the philosophical, as well as the practical issues facing Europe. In that sense, we are very fortunate to have esteemed French philosopher Étienne Balibar leading our Europe from the Ground Up debate, which has already included impassioned responses by Bo Stråth, Niccoló Milanese and Srećko Horvat.

The latest addition to our debate comes from Ida Dominijanni, who offers a critical analysis of “bottom up” European politics, and the left’s apparent complicity in allowing a “depressed society” to emerge within Europe.

Frequent contributor DamianHockney agrees with Dominijanni's assessment:

It is good to see someone clearly address the issue of the debate on moving to a "bottom up" approach being trapped by constant reference to what "should" be. It is tempting for supporters of the EU (at what appears to be any cost) to constantly talk about what might or should happen, but of course much of what is discussed hasn't happened and will almost certainly not happen. The EU never was intended to be a bottom up organisation, it is an elite structure designed by and for an elite. So indeed what if the "shoulds" never happen? Just accept things as they are?


Interestingly the debate on what might happen in a post-EU Europe is beginning at last to take shape among many of those critical of the EU and campaigning to leave, and it is gradually dawning that it is not enough to just quit, and assume that salvation and the sunlit uplands present themselves on a plate with the new post EU order. After all, the structures which led to the current anti-democratic disaster (and those most in favour of them) will still be there in charge...

We also had a hugely popular contribution by Igor Štiks, on how an absurd bureaucratic and political predicament might have actually united the people of Bosnia in solidarity with one another.

JMBG solidarnost! writes:

I think we should listen to the citizens - stop the ethnic coating to their existence. They are frustrated with corrupt leaders whose role is to glaze over the truth and neglect the needs in their daily life. The idea that the international community can demand or diminish the valour of the activism illustrates the impingement on citizens to have a role in their daily life and future. Parallels with the other context can be drawn - however the significance here is how these citizens are breaking all the imposed moulds in their choice to make the politicians do their jobs. It also highlights to the world the major fracture in citizen relationship to the state. Finally the resentment and frustration is now longer stowed away in field research project reports, now it is there for all to see. Instead of if they can make it anywhere.. I'd say 'they did it their way' - FINALLY!

while Ivana Jasak thinks this will help rebuke western prejudices about the Bosnian people:

Politicians send an awful image of this country, as if we're struggling with each other, which is not true to that measure, youth doesn't take bullshit from no one, except for what they constantly hear and be taught to think... Politicans are just bunch of creeps and idiots... If it hadn't been the war they would never have been elected. They are the problem, those parasites. If it wasn't their lies we would join our forces long time ago. See, Europe, we're not savages! ;)

Finally, we had Ioannis Tellidis' prescient article on the differences between the EU's reponse to police violence in Turkey, compared to that in Greece. It is not hard to find double standards in the European Union's approach to different countries. The EU was practically falling over itself to criticise Viktor Orban’s rogue Hungarian regime over its press freedom laws, and yet has remained awkwardly silent as the Greek government slides further towards authoritarianism in its drive to implement the EU’s mandated austerity program.

As IannisCarras eloquently put it:

This article is so obviously correct that it is surprising that it needs to be written. 

See you all next week!

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