Originally Published: Project Syndicate, 9 May 2019
Although the European Union is arguably as popular as ever, the next European Parliament may well contain a large minority of forces sceptical or hostile to further integration. Instead of viewing this as a threat, pro-Europeans should seize the opportunity to start a necessary debate about the continent’s future.
Political forces that question the current speed of European integration are part of a healthy democratic process. In fact, one could even argue that the Eurosceptic parties are more honest than their mainstream counterparts. After all, despite their pro-European rhetoric, once mainstream parties come to power at the national level, they, too, are extremely reluctant to transfer any sovereignty to EU institutions.
The real test will come after this month’s elections, when the Eurosceptic parties will have to articulate an alternative coherent vision of Europe and the EU’s role in it. Such a vision is unlikely to emerge.
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