Open let­ter to Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

Poul Nyrup Ras­mus­sen, pré­sident du Par­ti Socia­liste Euro­péen depuis 2004, Pre­mier Ministre du Dane­mark de 1993 à 2001. Ce fut son gou­ver­ne­ment qui, en 2000, orga­ni­sa le réfé­ren­dum sur l’a­dop­tion de l’eu­ro, pro­po­si­tion reje­tée par une majo­ri­té absolue.

Dear com­rade Poul,

I would never have thought it pos­sible, and I am aware of the deep injus­tice of this, but I can­not help it : When I woke up this mor­ning, it was with a bit­ter hatred against any­thing Danish. As I consi­der myself an intel­li­gent per­son not easi­ly given to res­sent­ment, I was quiet afraid of this anger that I sen­sed wel­ling up thick and black, threa­te­ning to sub­merge all conscient thought.

But I think that I have to explain this to you. I was born in 1964, not even twen­ty years after the big war. During the years I spent in school, I lear­ned about the Ger­man crimes that pre­ce­ded this war and almost led to the extinc­tion of the entire Jewish people. I was dee­ply dis­tur­bed by this and by the fact of belon­ging, by birth, to a people of mur­de­rers and torturers.

On the other hand, I lear­ned about recon­ci­lia­tion bet­ween Ger­ma­ny and France, coun­tries that consi­de­red them­selves here­di­ta­ry ene­mies and had risen in bloo­dy war against each other, with mil­lions of human beings slaugh­te­red. I heard of legen­da­ry men like de Gaulle and Ade­nauer and their cou­rage to step for­ward and decide that there had to be bet­ter ways. I saw their heirs, Mit­te­rand and Kohl, hono­ring the dead and taking steps to create an even clo­ser union bet­ween states. Those acts dee­ply impres­sed me, along with the thought that it final­ly was pos­sible to start anew, even after such uns­pea­kable ter­ror and hatred.

À lire :
Asséchons les marais du populisme !

At the heart of this long pro­cess was the move­ment for Euro­pean Uni­ty that took chan­ging forms along the decades of its exis­tence, ever adap­ting to the needs of clo­ser col­la­bo­ra­tion. For a long time, it was confi­ned to cer­tain spheres, its bene­fits not direct­ly visible to its citi­zens. That final­ly chan­ged when some cou­ra­geous men and women took the deci­sion to create a com­mon cur­ren­cy and a uni­fied ter­ri­to­ry where there would be no bor­ders anymore.

For me, dear Poul, that was like a dream come true. But then, some months ago, I lear­ned that the conser­va­tive Danish govern­ment, pushed by a small bunch of popu­lists dri­ven by hatred of any­thing dif­ferent from what they know and appre­ciate, deci­ded to rees­ta­blish the bor­der controls. Sure, there are worse things that could hap­pen. No-one is killed and I am sure that most people cros­sing the bor­der won’t be aware of the change. But never­the­less, since yes­ter­day there is a foul stench in the air, coming from your coun­try where there indeed some­thing is rotten.

I do fear that this act, which is contra­ry at least to the spi­rit of the Schen­gen trea­ty and the will of Euro­pean uni­ty, will give rise to a conser­va­tive and popu­list roll­back with the aim to abo­lish the achie­ve­ments of the Euro­pean Union which consist, I am not afraid to claim this, in more than 60 years of peace, demo­cra­cy and welfare.

What are the mea­sures put for­ward by the Euro­pean Socia­list Par­ty in order to coun­ter this attack on Euro­pean Uni­ty ? I did not find much on your web­site. Dear com­rade, please do not hesi­tate to show the peoples of Europe that you will take action against such an open crime against any­thing the Union stands for ! The price of let­ting this pass may well be too high to be paid, for even after those 60 years of peace, conflict is still pos­sible. Europe, per­haps more than any other conti­nent, does need a strong orga­ni­sa­tion that makes sure conflicts are sol­ved in a pea­ce­ful way and that puts the inter­est of the whole before the inter­ests of the parts. And that’s some­thing people trust socia­lists to care for.

À lire :
Catherine Feunteun, Les Chroniques mauves

I sin­ce­re­ly hope that you will live up to your res­pon­si­bi­li­ties, inhe­ri­ted from wise men and women like Simone Veil, Fran­çois Mit­te­rand and Willy Brandt.

Yours sin­ce­re­ly,

Tho­mas Galley

PS – I do assure you that conscious thought is still capable of over­co­ming hatred, and I know full well that the Danish people is not to be held res­pon­sible for the acts of some popu­list fire star­ters. But they should be stop­ped soon !