A critical assessment of Europe’s past is vital for its future – Sant

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A critical assessment of Europe's past is vital for its future - SantFormer Prime Minister Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that decisions about the future of Europe must be built on an honest, critical assessment of our recent past.

Unfortunately, this terrain has been abandoned to populists and demagogues, remarked the Maltese MEP when he intervened during the debate on ‘The White Paper on the future of the European Union.’

This White Paper aims at identifying the challenges and the opportunities ahead and how it will conduct its future with 27 member states. It proposes five scenarios on how the Union could develop by 2025.

Dr Sant said Europe needs an acknowledgement and examination of the failures as well as the achievements of the European project over the last sixty years – seen not in contingent terms but as strategic responses undertaken in historical time. “These need to be reinforced if their outcome was good for the European peoples; and reversed where they have been mistaken.”

“It might make sense to open the discussion about the future of Europe with a discussion about its past, its history. Frequently I get the feeling, in this Parliament and elsewhere, that such discussions too often take exclusively an ideological perspective – that of pilgrims intent on reaching the new Jerusalem,” said Dr Sant.

“Moreover they get bound to technocratic approaches that are grounded in neoliberalism. Even the social dimension when it is included, gets relegated to a policy chapter, calibrated in positivist terms.”

MEP Sant concluded by saying that “perhaps what we need is a self-critical, historical review of what the European project has been, frameworked in the realities of European history since the French Revolution.”

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