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The real danger facing the European Union

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American sociologist, historian and civil rights activist WEB Du Bois once suggested, "always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life." Such hopes are unfortunately fading away on both sides of the Atlantic today. The election of Donald Trump as president destabilised the institutional system and social bonds in the US, and the European continent is certainly not experiencing a golden age either.

Exclusionary nationalisms, narrow patriotism, chauvinism, and incidents of ethnicity-based violence are on the rise in a number of EU member states. And as demonstrated once again in Sweden last Sunday, anti-immigration far-right parties are making considerable gains in most European countries.

Before the May 2019 European Parliament election, confidence levels of euro-elites appear to be running low. Earlier this month, EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger, who is a member of the leading Europe's People Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, suggested that the "[European] project is in mortal danger." As well as outside opponents such as Russia and China, he said, "some within Europe want to weaken it or even destroy it - Poland, Hungary, Romania, the government of Italy."

The general mood may be low, however, the EU establishment recently took action to prove that it is not sitting idly by as these populist, right-wing governments........

© Al Jazeera