Two days ago, Polish voters elected Andrzej Duda as new president of the Republic. The PiS (conservative) and Eurosceptic candidate defeated the incumbent and outgoing liberal Bronislaw Komorovski by 53% vs. 47. If this election has no direct impact on Poland’s political life (the Polish head of state has no real powers in the Poland’s political system), it would be provoke new tensions between Warsaw and the European Union, especially if the PiS Party wins the next fall general elections and Jaroslaw Kaczynski comes back as Prime minister.
Meanwhile, in Spain, protest parties made an important breakthrough during the regional and municipal elections. In Barcelona and Madrid, Podemos movement is leading in the polls and could rule these cities with a comfortable majority. In the rest of the country, traditional parties are stepping back and lost a lot of voters to the benefit of new political parties, born during the crisis and questioning austerity policies implemented by Socialists and Conservatives government both. As in Poland, the November general elections should confirm the progression of Podemos and other protest parties as Cuidadanos for instance.
Just after the confirmation of the results, Federica Mogherini, the EU Foreign Affairs representative, said the European dream needed to be changed, considering there was a new political deal. According to the ex-Italian minister for Foreign Affairs, if the dream of the Founding Fathers wanted to be saved, it was needed to take into account the changing political situation in some European countries as in Spain and Poland but also in UK or in Greece, previously.
Since the beginning of the crisis, EU needs to give a clear and strong direction to Europeans and explain it can implement innovative and secure solutions to people who are still experiencing the aftermath of austerity measures. But so far, EU institutions missed the opportunity to challenge the Member States and force them to lead an ambitious and common strategy to tackle the crisis and propose ambitious policies. Faced to the crisis, national people choose different responses, sometimes in opposition clearly, as we can notice for Poland and Spain. Nonetheless, as in Warsaw and Madrid, the vote expression of these previous days show Europe – as it is considered – is clearly questioned by a strong minority of citizens.
That is why Europe should consider this electoral fact and express clearly new ambitions. That also means national leaders clearly implement a new political agenda re-launching European integration and give a strong answer to EU citizens deep concerns. But although some national leaders, as Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime minister, clearly said Europe must be changed, the problem is still in the strategy to propose. National interests are still put forward and there is no reason to change it. Nevertheless, it is the primordial condition to give a new direction and, why not, going to a clear and ambitious federal (or federalist) Europe, enjoyable for all the citizens.
It’s more time Europe took its responsibilities vis-à-vis the national leaders to save the European dream and give new hopes.