EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


Regarding ‘Macedonia name dispute inspires exotic idea‘:

As a European I would like to state that I am extremely disappointed with the current situation in the EU.

Europe is currently in a state of confusion. Corruption, a general lack of sensibility and nationalism is emerging in all EU countries, old and new, of course under the pretext of pluralism.

The main problem of Europe is that it has no specific agenda to frame all these different opinions and therefore its citizens have no dream to aspire to.

This lack of optimism, prevalent in all EU countries, has become more obvious to me since I live in the United States. I am lucky enough to do my PhD research in one of the most important universities of the world – the kind of institution that the EU lacks and where thought is produced as well as future goals and dreams – and sad enough to experience there, in the most indicative way, the decline of the thought of European intellectuals.

It was really breathtaking to realise that the majority of EU students in the United States – as opposed to students from India, Latin America, China or Turkey – have, to put it mildly, a lack of orientation in their studies without being able to position their research in a broader context.

I am not implying that Europe does not have brilliant minds. I am just expressing the opinion that this situation reflects in the clearest way the simple fact that there is no European context in which to use them.

It is in this context that I would like to put the FYROM-Greece dispute over the name ‘Macedonia’. Are the history and conflicts in the Balkans detached from the general policy of Western Europe in the area since the 19th century?

I will not try to inform your readers on the topic since on the one hand this is not my intention, and on the other it would be like trying to explain to someone the history of the Middle East in three paragraphs. What every open-minded reader knows, of course, is that the problem of the Middle East is not something that only involves fanatical Israelis and Palestinians. Things, I hope, are thought to be a bit more complicated than that.

Thus, I am of the opinion that “most Europeans find the Greek position puzzling or irrational” either because they do not even bother to inform themselves on the situation, or, as is the current trend, they just see it as an obstacle in their search for “new markets”. With this new idea of the EU as a supermarket in mind, who really cares about anything else?

Additionally, in addressing the irrationality of this conflict I would like to draw attention to a similar trend prevalent all over the EU. What about the current conflicts in Spain (thousands of Catalans were demonstrating a few days ago), in Ireland (three days of conflict in Belfast) or in Belgium (fear of separation of the country)?

Is this simultaneous indication of mistrust just a coincidence or does it reflect a general tread which indicates the general suspicion and instability between people that live in the EU?


Private citizen

Author :


  1. I just want to make clear that I never claimed that the conflict is irrational as it is implied in the text with the phrase: “Additionally, in addressing the irrationality of this conflict I would like to draw attention to a similar trend prevalent all over the EU.” This is the result of editing…
    I believe that the conflict is based on real and rational problems but that it can be solved through dialog. Some of these problems relate to the general situation within the EU. FYROM, like other countries that belonged to the ex Soviet block, have revived nationalism in Europe, probably because – due to their isolation – they have lost some of the episodes in Europe’s development since the Second World War. For example, most of the right wing voters in Germany come from the country’s east part. The trend has spread all over Europe making more clear its lack of vision. Can Europe solve these problems and guarantee its stability?

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