The economic and debt crisis that has engulfed most of Europe, and in particular the Eurozone, coupled with the generalized identity crisis that is sweeping the continent are an opportunity to reflect on European unification and the problems that it can, but has failed to, address and solve.
The all-too frequent meetings and summits that typically end up with vague statements (never followed up by concrete acts) on the necessity for tighter cooperation, the unability of European heads of states to come up with meaningful and original ideas to tackle this double crisis, and, last but certainly not least, the unbalanced power among the various European states (a few countries deciding and imposing policies for the rest) are only the visible symptoms that reveal what the European Union has become: not a confederation, certainly not a federation, perhaps not even a real union, but just a conglomerate of countries with varying agendas.
The rise of the far right from Hungary to France, from Greece to the Netherlands, if it is (rightly) condemned among traditiona political circles, should not and cannot be ignored and just dismissed as the undeducated choice of sympathizers of an outdated fascist ideology. Rather, the rise of far right parties has happened precisely because of the discontent and the generalized feeling among large segments of the population that the political élite in each of these countries has failed to address the problems caused by globalization. The reasons for people to support the far right (and far left) are many and diverse. these reasons include the loss or, at least, dilution of traditional identities within impersonal and uncontrolled flows of goods, people, and capital, the decline of the political sphere in favor of the financial sphere, etc.