“Implementation,” is the new Greek government’s mantra. Following the vote of confidence, time is now of the essence. While the new government struggles to meet the deadlines and secure the continuation of bailout payments and proceed with the dictates for the recovery plan, Europe is facing ever-growing problems. Some are calling for more Europe. Others want less Europe. Some voices want a Europe based on the strongest Euro zone countries. Others see it as more inclusive. Citizens all over the continent are increasingly distracted, scared and disillusioned . Europe itself may be -tragically- losing its luster and cache.
There is such dissonance and discord that it makes it hard to envision the future. The loudest most provocative and usually more destructive voices are hijacking the news and shaping the debate. Nobody seems to be on the same page and it is not clear whether they ever will be.
One thing is clear. It’s hard enough to impose austerity measures when everything else is stable. Imagine how difficult the work becomes when the entire system is in flux.
Politicians as a rule prefer incremental change. That way they can maintain a semblance of control. It is becoming clearer, however, that events are taking place so quickly that the step by step approach won’t bear fruit.
How can everything slow down just long enough for political forces across the continent to collect their thoughts and carve out a new plan to move forward before Europeans forget how important it is to be European?
Perhaps it is time to run a unified campaign throughout the EU inviting political parties and civil society to the table. Instead of having voices yelling conflicting messages, the debate itself should take shape and become organized and run deep.
The Commission needs to take initiative because what took more than half a century to build, may take only a few more months to unravel.