Monday, December 14, 2015

Back to the world

Back to the world
If the polls are not mistaken, we move into terra incognita. But govern who governs after 20-D, Spain should return to the world. To do this you must first overcome three obstacles that have hindered its international projection. The first is our absence of major international forums. Despite the internationalization of its economy, the global nature of their language or geographical position straddling America, Europe and North Africa, and Spain welcomes any relevant international forum not enough Spaniards in the forums or where major institutions discuss ideas and networks on which the influence of a country is based are built. Reinforce that presence is a task for everyone: the government, opposition, business, media and civil society. Without it, Spain will be irrelevant in decisions that affect their future.

The second ballast has to do with the quality of its external action instruments, which before the crisis experienced rapid growth process without much discretion to then undergo a process of cuts that left battered our capacity for external action. He stresses the arms bubble, as scandalous as unnoticed by the public, responsible for a trail of debts whose repayment has required enormous sacrifices in times of budgetary crisis and therefore has left our Armed Forces in worrying levels of operation. But they also did not lag behind the excesses of development cooperation in good times, now become chronic shortage of resources essential to building a more just world. Here as in many other sectors, the room for reforms and long term sustainability has disappeared beneath the pendulum will bubble out of control to cut without judgment. That trident external action that form the cooperation, diplomacy and policies of peace and security have to be reassembled to serve the interests of our country.

The third element has to do with the poor quality of our public debate on international issues. As in other areas of public life, here too the polarization and clichés too often substitute exchange arguments and data. It is hard not to feel envy at the discussions these days in the UK and Germany on how to act in response to the attacks in Paris, two countries with radically different cultures of security have shown the same appreciation for the rigor and quality of public debate.

Cooperation, diplomacy and peace and security policies need to be reconstituted
Without those three elements (international presence, efficient tools and quality debate) Spanish continue to do so well that they are given all along: passionately debating among ourselves, back to the world and without any possibility of real impact on problems they affect us.

Two problems will mark our immediate future. The first is the European issue. The European project, let us say bluntly, is galling. His maddening slowness and lack decision-making tools to act will result in a lost decade in terms of growth and employment for Spain. Europe enters its eighth year of crisis without resolving Greece without completing economic and monetary union with the instruments of economic governance and fiscal necessary. The legitimacy of the EU depends almost exclusively on its effectiveness. If Europe does not grow and does not create jobs will not generate legitimacy among citizens to support political integration on the contrary, will generate disaffection, and thus we will increase more nationalism, populism and xenophobia, with a return to borders and selfishness national, as we are already seeing in the wake of the crisis of refugees and asylum seekers. Spain, more concerned with saving the day to look to the future, has been absent from the European debate and has let it lead others, being difficult to distinguish their mark on the designs that have been put on the table. It is now to relaunch the integration process, build the necessary coalitions and lead the transformation of Europe to serve the needs of Spain: otherwise, the public will back the European project.

The problems of political legitimacy institutional architecture and the EU are experiencing, however, the branches that we can not see the forest, a forest that still present enormous challenges, from the demographic, energy and the digital revolution, a new industrial revolution that is transforming the world and the power relations between states and that Europe is slipping through his fingers because of their economic fragmentation and political myopia. The gap between European integration time to 28 members and the pace of change and economic and technological needs puts Europe at risk of entering into a prolonged decline.

The challenge of terrorism will require integrated strategies including the military question
The second problem we face has to do with our external security. The friendly security bubble within which the project of European integration has evolved for decades is no longer there. After the Cold War think that the withdrawal of American umbrella would not require the creation of a specifically European defense capacity. Instead, the combination of the enlargement process of the EU towards Eastern Europe with the economic modernization of both our Eastern neighborhood as North Africa generated a cushion of prosperity that made us think of a Europe of security and defense more like a relic of the cold war as a necessity.

Spain, despite their Europeanism, has not been immune to this process of disregard for the issues of security and defense, to which was added an economic crisis that has placed them in the background. But the mirror of the cold war and effective multilateralism is broken. Like it or not, but Europe has achieved peace and be at peace with itself, he is not going to live in peace. Because the challenge posed by terrorism will require strategies that integrate all available means, including, in one way or another, the military. And it will require for a long time and support of society. Given its safety culture, it is unlikely that Spain is at the forefront; that is precisely why you should consider how to contribute to their own security and, at the same time be a valuable partner for its neighbors, with whom unites us a common destiny and values ​​that we want to preserve. Back to the world is not a matter of pride, but of responsibility in an extremely difficult moment for Europe.


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