Stop Nationalisms – Promote Transnationalism (by José Maria Compagni)
The debate on nationalisms and the right to decide rages across Europe once again. Catalonian independentists have managed to place their separatist ambitions at the heart of the political debate. The historic pendulum swings from globalism to independentism and that is to their advantage.
I think we are far from seeing the pendulum striking the right balance again and, in the absence of creative and ambitious political movements at the European level, we might see barriers arising again in the next decade, when we thought we had overcome them.
Here below there is the transcription of the article that I published on 2 February 2006 under the title “Stop Nationalism – Promote Transnationalism”. More than a decade later, we know the consequences of lacking a European project. At that moment, Newropeans emerged as a truly transEuropean movement under the intelligent leadership of Franck Biancheri. Today, though he is not present, the initiative #CitizensRoute could be the cradle of new transEuropean teams that take the lead in the European path, the only balance point between globalisation and independentism.
02-02-2006 José María Compagni
Stop any type of nationalisms: ethnic nationalisms, romantic nationalisms, cultural nationalisms, state nationalism, civic nationalisms, economic nationalisms, … Stop nationalisms. Many people will argue about the benefits of nationalisms. Within nationalism you find positive and constructive values, they say. The consideration of a nation as a project is a great incentive for the citizens, the love of country. In some cases the clearly legitimate aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination…Some people could think that it is an interesting subject and indeed very possibly it is. Spain is celebrating this year the 20th anniversary of its entry in the European Union. It is now a consolidated democracy, partly thanks to Europe. We should be thinking today about how to contribute to Europe to make its own democratic transition. However there is just one sole subject that, without exaggerating at all, fill all radio stations, TV channels, newspapers, coffee discussions, etc.. This subject is the Catalonian Autonomy Statue. But today people is becoming tired of the permanent and never end nationalistic claims and of the political debate driven by nationalistic parties.
At this moment, we have serious problems around the world, which need to be put with no excuses in the first place of any political agenda. It is really a shame that we are spending so much time in the interest of a particular region with political parties favoured by a wrong electoral system. The former Czech president, Václav Havel, spoke about the risk that a number of European countries become trapped in a “suffocating atmosphere”. Today Spain is trapped (we do not know for how long) under this “suffocating atmosphere”. A consequence of this is that its citizens will suffer isolation and will lose presence in the international scene. In Western Europe separatist regions live within a relative high degree of freedom and enjoy a very reasonable level of autonomy. This is the case of Spain where regions have a wide range of competences. That’s why we say that to be nationalistic in actual Europe is a frivolity. And we must be radical asking to stop them. However we do not define ourselves as anti-nationalistic. We are comfortable under a new political category, which is a result of the social, economical and cultural evolution during the last two decades: TRANSNATIONALISM. This is a new category focused in the interconnectivity between people thanks to new technologies and increased flow of people beyond nation borders and directly linked to DEMOCRACY. In Europe, transnationalism is not just a concept or a mere political category. It is a need and now it is becoming a reality. Newropeans is the first political TRANSEUROPEAN movement with no national levels.
And Newropeans, in the different towns, cities and regions of Spain, is opening windows to let some fresh air in and bringing citizens from nineteenth-century discussions to the vanguard of innovative politics. Promote active transnationalism in Spain is nowadays one the most necessary political duties.
José Maria Compagni, Sevilla (Spain) – 02/02/2006