More and more, I have been hearing about the worsening economic situation in Europe. Friends and students from all over the continent have been telling me that life in their country is deteriorating, that it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet, and they are losing hope. I have been warning about it for quite a few years now. Nevertheless, the solution now is what it’s always been—reeducation from the self-centered attitude Europeans have endorsed to an inclusive and considerate one. This is the continent’s only way out.
Currently, there is no reason for things to get better. The reports I have been getting about rising prices of housing and goods in the Czech Republic, the migration out of Hungary in search of work, the growing inequality between inland Spain and its coastal areas, and countless other problems I have been hearing about do not even scratch the surface. In addition, the struggle of the second and third echelon countries in Europe against the affluent European countries helps neither the oppressors nor the oppressed.
European countries are at a risk of war, and the immigrants pouring into the continent are only exacerbating the situation. Now that Europe’s economy is shutting down, what will they do? Add to it the “icing on the cake,” aka “coronavirus,” and you have a very precarious and unstable situation on your hands.
I am not optimistic, but as long as there is hope, we must try to explain the only way out of the downward spiral. Europe can be saved only if people and nations stop looking only after their personal profit. In an economy where everything is interdependent, the concept of “personal profit” simply doesn’t exist.
“Interdependent” and “personal” are, in a sense, an oxymoron.
No one can tell Europe what to do; they must take their lives into their own hands. However, they must take everyone’s lives into account, not just those of the wealthy countries, or they will destroy everyone’s lives. Europe needs to teach itself what it means to be considerate, to see that everyone, truly everyone, has what they need. If it is to be a common market, as it professes to be, then it must see to the common good. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of a common market in the first place?
In order to create a (truly) common market, there must be a common interest. This means that first of all, Europe must stop the influx of people from all over the world, mainly from Asia and Africa. Their interests are very different from those of Europe, and their culture has nothing in common with European culture. At the moment, Europe is unable to sustain foreigners invading it and changing its cultural and religious makeup on top of the economic and structural problems it already has.
Next, once they stop the migration influx, they must see that everyone in Europe has minimal and decent living conditions. If one part of the European market is neglected, the whole arrangement will tumble like a deck of cards.
Third, caring for everyone’s provision must be a given, just as one does not abandon a close family member. However, acting in this way requires Europe to overcome centuries of wars, conspiracies, and bad blood among the countries. We must not forget that the two world wars we’ve had so far began in Europe, and for a good reason. This is the education I was referring to in the beginning of this piece: education toward mutual responsibility, trust, and good faith.
A lasting change can only be the result of a thorough educational process. If all the countries agree to it, Europe can come out triumphant from the challenge it is facing. If, on the other hand, it lets countries opt out of mutual responsibility, or allows aliens to keep pouring in, it is doomed. It will not be long before Europe’s fate is decided one way or the other.
Migrants wait to disembark from a Spanish coast guard vessel, in the port of Arguineguin, in the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez