My name is Giuseppe, I am 26 years old. I work in a library. I have a degree in Classical Literature and now I am studying Philosophy. I live in Eboli, a small town in southern Italy.
The new European Commission is taking shape slowly, one day after another, while the memory of the European elections is already fading. This is normal, I dare say. We are not all affected by problems of memory (which could be the plot for a José Saramago novel). The thing is that the political situation in the world is constantly evolving. Especially the events in the east of Europe require serious attention. 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, tension between the east and the west has revived. It looks as if the URSS is back on the front line against the Western world.
And the Western world – in its neo liberal delirium – seems to have no answers to the current situation, even worse, whenever it tries to react the results are often disastrous.
In such a complicated international landscape, the European Union needs to find the right people to take on these new challenges. Has the EU succeeded in finding the right people? Quite frankly and without beating around the bush: no.
The choice of Federica Mogherini as the next EU foreign policy high representative and of Donald Tusk as European Council president show little courage and contribute to the image of a weak Europe. We can already have an idea about the role the new foreign policy chief will play in the coming months when we look at what Federica Mogherini did as Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs in the past seven months. Neither did she take a strong stand in the Ukraine crisis nor did she ever condemn Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. In contrast to this silence – in one of her last acts in office – she sent weapons to the Kurds with the purpose to fight terrorism.
Mogherini and her experience as minister – consisting of embarrassing silences and absurd peace missions – seems the personification of the EU’s current stagnation.
The EU has to deal with two kinds of threats:
- External threats as the growing tension with the Russian Federation, the conflicts in the Middle East, terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Internal threats as the problem of an endless economic crisis, which continues to generate poverty and hatred towards the institutions.
Federica Mogherini in the role of foreign policy high representative is a ‘success’ of Italian politics – particularly of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The day after her assignment, on the first pages of Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica (the two most widely read Italian newspapers) there were two emblematic pictures. The first one showed Federica Mogherini on a sofa covering her face in her hands while crying with emotion. The second one shows a warm hug between Federica Mogherini and Matteo Renzi. These two photos reveal all the tension of the past few days. Finally, it is fair to say that the choice of Donald Tusk as Council president confirms the political compromises behind these nominations.
The feeling about these appointments is that there is always a winner and there are always losers. In this case, it was Italy that won the powerful function of CFSP high representative. Tomorrow, the French will win score another top job, probably. But in this power game it is Europe that will always be among the losers. In the days to come we will finally have a complete Commission for the new era under Commission President Jean-Claude Junker. In the coming months this same Commission will discuss the approval of the controversial TTIP. In the coming years this same Commission will guide Europe through the new global challenges. Under these premises the new Commission doesn’t look as if it could act and react as well as it should in the future, meaning that the European Union will have less and less impact.