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WITHOUT FEAR

It is not the first time during these years that I have commented the dangers to which this beautiful conquest of humanity, which is democracy and the values ​​that identify it, is subjected.

Far from being attenuated or overcome these dangers, in recent months seem to have increased or, at least, become more present and visible. The enemies of democracy raise their heads and show themselves more arrogant.

What may seem to be a logical feature of countries under clearly authoritarian regimes, if not purely dictatorial, now appears to us as a virus that attacks the immune system of our democracies.

All lovers of authoritarianism, whatever they are traditionally called right or left, today camouflaged by populist movements, work hard to undermine the bases of democratic coexistence, to deny their values ​​and replace them with the counter values ​​of religious fanaticism, xenophobia, Racism, homophobia, and the limitation or denial of fundamental freedoms.

In a context of global disorientation, lack of leadership, people beaten by the excesses of merciless capitalism, national and international institutions that have not been able to see the extent of this crisis and applied brutal solutions including social oppression, that was the moment for political opportunists of all kinds , the daring ignorant of simple speech and incendiary, to make their August.

Even the old and reactionary nationalist movements are activated to proclaim that we are better alone than in the European Union (see Brexit's success, or the message of the National Front in France, etc.).

These simplistic and sometimes liberticidal messages have happened with unequal acceptance by the population, but in any case with an echo that would have seemed unthinkable just a few years ago.

The lack of solidarity between European Union countries in the face of the migratory phenomenon caused by the Syrian war and their refusal to receive refugees, raising walls at the borders; Others by adopting laws that are clearly limiting fundamental freedoms, among other examples, and the lukewarm reaction of the European Union itself, raise serious questions about the future of the joint venture.

That own weakness or bewilderment and errors in combating the economic crisis have put the European Union in the eye of its  economic and political adversaries.

We forgot that the danger of movements against democracy and its values ​​was still dormant within our own societies. And today we wake up bewildered by his opportunist resurgence.

But let no one be deceived, it is not thanks to populism, discourses of hatred and discrimination, liberticides, that Europe will regain its economic strength and its citizenship welfare at the same or greater  degrees than before the crisis.

The example of what is happening in the United States has to make us reflect on the Europeans and accept that if we want to save our great project of progress and freedom, now more than ever we have to do without traditional allies.

But for this the European Union must change profoundly, because today it is already the last stronghold against other authoritarian world regimes, suicidal nationalisms, or the isolation that is announced from the United States.

We need a European Union with a more coherent political discourse, a solid social policy and solidarity. The Union must make a great effort to reconnect with the public and to enthuse it, in order to break the image of "Brussels" as a self-sufficient and ignorant structure of the real needs and concerns of European citizens. Only in this way will it be able to count on its massive support, against populists and demagogues.

And for this, governments and parties have to launch to defend firmly and forcefully the foundational values ​​against all those who do not yet fully share them. The departure of the United Kingdom, however painful it may be for all, is also an opportunity to gain political coherence and steadfastness for those who do not want to assume the basic principles of the European Union.

In this battle we are fighting for the future of our coexistence in peace and solidary economic development. Governments and parties can no longer look outside, temporizing with internal termites.

Democratic firmness is also the basis of freedom.

It is not simple, but it can be done  and we are on time. No fear!

Alvaro Gil-Robles

2/03/2017

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