It is a fact that we are living harsh days in the current time. At the time we have unacceptable unemployment rates, especially for the youth, in several parts of Europe.
We have pushed forward an economic model that is known to be a failure: liberalism. Poverty in southern Europe is traded in exchange for keeping northern Europe prosperous and industrious.
It is said that within the Schengen Agreement, a person may move freely around the EU to find a job, creating synergies and feedbacks among the different states. But that is only what the treaties say. We may speak about mobility when the flow is multidirectional, not when people only escape from their countries to seek a better future abroad.
Some countries have fed this system in order to increase their market, such as Germany, which has never fallen in its figures of new workers or risen above 9% in unemployment rate (note that Spain’s lowest unemployment rate in democracy – since 1978 – is 9% during a few months in 2008). In Germany, they are always looking for people to work there, and the more qualified these people are, the better. Engineers, doctors, PhDs, all of them trained in universities in the peripheral states, can only apply for a decent job in countries where the industry is still vivid.
Meanwhile, old and small industries are being removed from these peripheral states. Thousands of workers are being fired in massive restructurings just to shut down and move to a cheaper state that still in the EU (e.g. Poland) and closer to their main market: Germany.
All these data only lead us to the painful number of 24% of youth unemployment across the EU. This number increases to 66% in Andalusia, from where more than 350.000 people had to emigrate since the financial crisis started in 2008, reminiscent of the situation in the 60s.
Is this the model of Europe we want? People uprooted from their countries because they are unable to have a future at home? Or we should remove this system and create a whole different model and start from the basis?
Europe has always been built up by its peoples. So let us do it again. We must remove the financial and economic interests and establish a more federal model where the nations and the peoples have the responsibility to create the necessary bonds to support each other, to find the way in which the richest regions can help the poorest ones without devastating their future.
Let us build a fair Europe. Let us build a real Europe of the Peoples.
Pablo Peñuela Romero, EFAy bureau member