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of the far right. These parties present the destruction of the European

project and closing our borders to immigration as a panacea, ignoring the

damage that such measures would inflict on our economy and fomenting

the poison of xenophobia and racism in response to the arrival of refugees

(See chapter by Enrique Ayala.)

These ideas – if that is the right word – are also bolstered by the threat

from ISIS which, like all forms of terrorism, is a sworn enemy of democ-

racy. Similar developments have been seen in neighbouring countries, with

Putin in Russia and Erdogan in Turkey pursuing policies that are not ex-

actly pro-European. And there are also threats from within the western

geopolitical camp, such as the worrying discourse of isolationism, nation-

alism and protectionism from the Trump Administration and from some

elements on the European right.

As if all of this were not enough, part of the EU – the United Kingdom

– has decided to break away, a move that poses a huge threat to the Union

and to its citizens in particular. Brexit threatens their right to move, live and

work freely in the UK, and the reciprocal rights of UK citizens in the EU.

The UK has committed a historical error in its incomprehensible decision

to abandon one of the greatest benefits the EU offers (See chapters by

Mercedes Guinea and José Candela.)

There is a danger that the European project will be profoundly weak-

ened if the values based on human rights, the rule of law, democracy, the

welfare state, and social and economic convergence between the mem-

bers of the EU are not transmitted to its 500 million citizens.

The individual chapters and recommendations of this report offer an

in-depth study of the State of the Union, and we propose a series of meas-

ures or lines of action to relaunch the EU:

– Above all, within each of the individual countries that make up

the EU, we need to defend and argue for the rule of law, the

separation of powers, and judicial and parliamentary control of

the executive, all of which are essential elements of our demo-

cratic political culture and basic requirements of EU membership.

– The restatement and extension of the main and most cherished

achievement of the EU: the freedom to move, live and work with-

in the EU, and the right to social assistance and human rights for

both majorities and minorities: in other words, European citizen-

ship. There are currently 14 million Europeans who live in another

EU country (including more than three million in the UK and a

further one million UK citizens elsewhere in the EU, primarily in