Finantial Times. Europe cannot afford to give in to the separatists. 18.02.2014
Europe cannot afford to give in to the separatists
By Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo – POPULAR PARTY (SPAIN).
The centenary of the first world war serves as a reminder of an ugly truth. As François Mitterrand put it in his last speech to the European parliament in 1995: “Le nationalisme, c’est la guerre.” More subtly, it is the refutation of cultural diversity, the rejection of political pluralism and the restriction of individual rights. That is to say, everything Europeans agreed to put behind them in 1945.
The EU stands for integration, solidarity, individual freedom and the rule of law. Ours is not a Europe of tribes but of citizens, and we must defend it as such. But this is now being undermined by populism and nationalism. Two of the continent’s biggest and most ancient states – Britain and Spain – currently face grave challenges from regional separatists in Scotland and Catalonia. These not only pose a threat to the very integrity of the countries concerned; they also undermine the bigger European project.
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