GUY METTAN is a journalist and Swiss politician. Former director and editor-in-chief of the main Geneva newspaper Tribune de Genève, he is presently the executive director of the Geneva Press Club and columnist for various Swiss newspapers. Member of the Geneva Parliament since 2001, he was the speaker of the Parliament in 2010 and author of several books, most lately this successful book on western russophobia originally published by Editions des Syrtes. There are now French, Italian, Russian, Serbian, and Swedish editions of this title, in addition to this one in English.
The European Existential Dilemma
To be or not to be ? That’s the cruel existential dilemma the European Union is presently facing.
Sixty-four years after its creation in 1957, the European project is presently trapped in a deadend. On the one hand, it has been a successful economic achievement – Europe as a whole is still the first world economic power, despite Brexit. But on the other, it has been unable to build either a truly democratic and efficient state—or to have impact as a respected power on the international scene. Starting with Brexit in 2016, the European Union is now exposed to an array of dismantling forces, such as the possibility of further exits, the organized opposition of populist parties, andpopular uprisings like those of he Yellow Jackets in France.
Guy Mettan examines the earlier attempts to unify the European continent, from Charles The Great to Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin, and why they all collapsed. He also draws striking comparisons between the ancient Greek confrontation with and subsequent domination by the Roman empire, to the current trajectory of relations between America and Europe.
In the light of these historical precedents, he explains why the present attempt at unification is likely to collapse if Europe doesn’t succeed to amend its original flaws. These defects are mainly threefold : an inherent lack of democracy and support from the peoples, a geopolitical imbalance expressed by a lack of sovereignty and a submissiveness to US and other foreign interests, and inadequate statecraft and governance institutions.
In conclusion, Mettan proposes what may be required for Europe’s longterm survival : an application of the Swiss historical experiment : build a federal state based on democratic participation of the peoples and a partnership with all members of european community including Russia. The secret of sucess would be to share the political power and economic benefits with the peoples instead of fighting them, so that staying within Europe is in actuality in their best interest. These is the only way to build an effective state and to recover a full sovereignty free from all types of foreign influence : mutual benefit.