The Sleeping Giant
In a recent interview I gave for Playground I discuss the recent failure of populism in Europe, but warn that European leaders cannot rest on their laurels.
The success of UKIP, Le Pen, Wilders and AfD is based on the fact that they have had a transnational discourse and been able to create a European anti-establishment narrative. While Europe has been able to fend off the advances of right-wing anti-european populism for now, the social conditions that have created the phenomenon are far from dead. Europe is an opportunity that is available for all Europeans – it is not an obligation. But it is a unique opportunity that European leaders should do more to accentuate.
In this way, as European governments struggle to deal with the social issues that have created euro-sceptic sentiment, it is time for those of us who believe in the European project to have our voices heard directly. We can do this though citizen-lobbying.
As I argue in my book Lobbying for Change, with more citizen participation the European Union will take a significant step towards giving European citizens the sense that their voices can help create a better society.