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contract would provide the foundations for a progressive European policy

to introduce a democratic union of welfare and security. The regulation of

globalised European capitalism offers an opportunity: progressives worked

hard to contain the market economy within the confines of the nation/

state: now, their task is to establish new regulatory templates for glo-

balised capital. These Europeanised policies make sense, but only if they

are genuinely capable of controlling the market and not – as has happened

to date – merely support economic globalisation in the name of promoting

the internal market and competition. There is also the opportunity to cre-

ate wider alliances as awareness of the negative economic, social and

political side effects of rising inequality grow among the business com-


At the same time, differentiated integration options would make it

possible to reconcile the interests of those who want to advance more

quickly with the interests of those who prefer to move at a slower pace.

Such an approach means that member states which wish to pursue inte-

gration and are capable of achieving it will be able to intensify their coop-

eration in a number of political spheres, while the others would benefit

from solutions that take account of their reservations with regard to po-

litical integration. This would offer fresh policies to new member states,

and free them from the straitjacket of social or economic criteria. Europe

has long been dominated by markets that are changing at breakneck

speed; it is now time for democratic politics to reassert itself.

Events and their consequences

One key development has been the rise of nationalist and so-called popu-

list movements in a number of countries, a trend which could threaten the

very existence of the EU were the National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen,

to triumph in the upcoming French presidential elections. The national-

populism that haunts Europe, however, is far more substantial than any

ghost, and draws its nourishment from a deep and long-lasting economic

crisis that has been poorly and unfairly managed, and which has had a

devastating impact on the lives of millions. In addition, those who are

committed to undermining and ultimately destroying the EU have enthu-

siastically resorted to demagoguery in their exploitation of the tragic situ-

ation of refugees and migrants. They garnish votes by campaigning against

the supposed threat posed by such “strangers”, drawing freely on lies and

the tactics of post-truth politics. Their discourse, which promotes xeno-

phobia and equates immigrants with terrorists, finds an echo among many