70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration

    REUTERS

    On 9 May 1950, the Schuman declaration launched the political and economic construction of Europe.

    Its central genial premise was that Europe could be peacefully united by concentrating on concrete step by step measures to enable convergence between its national economies via the establishment of a single common market.

    National and regional interests would be taken into account in a detailed give-and-take, creating a shared European acquis.

    Though very successful, this approach was fundamentally rejigged in the 1990’s, following the collapse of the USSR.

    Rapid deepening and enlargement became the order of the day, sometimes run in a hegemonic manner.

    The deepening such as with the eurozone but also Schengen was left half done.

    Fast enlargement has led to spreading political and economic divergences within the Union.

    Now, Union members find themselves increasingly unable to agree on concrete sectoral policies, for which the Union has at least partial competence.

    Among them: migration; long term Union budgeting; eurozone financial management; dealings with Russia and the US; a containment and recovery strategy vis-à-vis the corona virus pandemic; and soon possibly a final solution with the UK post-Brexit.

    Robert Schumann would not have been amused.

    We have gotten far away from the strategy he set.

    Dr Alfred Sant is a PL MEP.