Now that the dust is falling, it might be a good moment to look back at what was announced as “historical” European elections.
I have big doubts whether these elections will be as historic as they were supposed to be. There might have been a bit more attention for Eurovote 2014 in the media, but the focus was more on the rivalry between the so-called Spitzenkandidaten than on the real question of what kind of Europe citizens want and need to deal with the perfect storm of global uncertainties.
It was tragic how the real tough challenges of our times (climate change, resource scarcity, ecological monetary reform and runaway globalisation) were as good as totally absent in the campaigns. This was a Eurocampaign about the past and not about the future. And as a result those who were chosen (right-wing as well as left-wing populists) were those who are stuck in a past which will never return. If Jean-Claude Juncker will become the next European Commission President, it would be the ultimate expression of Europe’s choice for the past.
We can only hope that some of the new faces in the Parliament will have the intellectual courage and the political stamina to launch a few fresh debates into the Old House: debates about the limits of growth, the planetary boundaries of our production and consumption models, the new economic and social model based on prosperity and equality instead of GDP and austerity.
What we need are MEPs with a vision for the future, MEPs who are willing to help build the bridges for the transition to a social-ecological, post-growth prosperity Europe. All new parliament members who recognise themselves in this blog post, please come forward!