The words “More Europe” are essentially used a shorthand for needing EU action in an area where the EU does not currently act, like current efforts to complete the Digital Single Market for example.

But take a step back and think about this for a minute. “More Europe” is actually therefore trying to mean “More EU”, and is More EU (i.e. more institutions, more law, more politicians, more bureaucracy…?) actually something that people would really want? A more efficient, a more streamlined, a more social EU – perhaps. But just ‘more’? I doubt it.

Second, when it comes to something like completion of the Digital Single Market for example, what we actually need is EU law to break down national barriers. That is actually more freedom, or less barriers, or less regulation, albeit through EU level action. The ‘More Europe” phrase brings nothing here.

Third, “More Europe” implies the EU should be seen according to the more-or-less, in-or-out, pro-European-vs-eurosceptic frame. This in itself is wrong – I should be able to want less money on agriculture and more on regional funds, or more rules on working time and less on digital products, and that combination according to my own ideology. What does “More Europe” mean in that context? Nothing.

Hence anyone who is notionally pro-EU, both within and outside the institutions should stop using the phrases “More Europe”, “More EU” and “The Cost of Non-Europe”. These phrases have the wrong connotations, and also prevent a more nuanced debate about what has to happen at EU level from emerging. Stop using the words. Simple.

This blog entry was motivated by this tweet from Judith Raposo that links to this EP news story, but news stories like this regularly use the words too.

One Comment

  1. Daphne

    I actually found this “more Europe” approach particularly disturbing when discussing EU migration policy or rather EU border control as clearly this means more money spent on scaling up security technology at external borders and less emphasis on human rights protection. Its paradoxical, especially since Europe and EU should never be made into the same.

    I hence totally agree with stressing on a more nuanced debate here!

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