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.
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.
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.
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 !