Plus que d’un Jean Monnet néolibéral, d’un Charles de Gaulle européen, ou même d’un Willy Brandt qui irait au bout de ses intentions, nous avons besoin à mon avis d’un Altiero Spinelli ou d’une Ursula Hirschmann, mais multipliés par dix ou par cent, capables de rédiger à plusieurs mains quelque chose comme un nouveau Manifesto di Ventotene --É. Balibar

Altiero Spinelli's star seems to be on the rise. In a situation where many feel that the European Federalist project needs to be restarted and the EU refounded, Spinelli &Co:s Manifesto of Ventotene (1941) , in particular, is becoming a popular reference among, for instance, French Leftist intellectuals.

In a speech which he gave a year ago, Étienne Balibar listed five necessary political conditions for the desired "historical refoundation" of the European Union. I shall summarize these conditions here: firstly, a material interest of the European peoples to unite; second, a new and innovative institutional objective; third, a political ideal—this ideal, Balibar specifies, must imply an enlargement of the democracy that has so far been attained by the nation-states; fourth, a high demand of the "refoundation" that expresses itself in collective protests and cultural revolutions against autodestructive modes of production and consumption. The fifth condition, finally, consists in the defining of the "campaigns" that are needed to reduce the existing inegalities, to affront the new nationality question and meet "the challenge of hospitality" (whereby Balibar means the challenge that is posed by current and future population movements, and where human fraternity and cooperation with the nations of the "South" have to find their proper place). (1)

I shall also summarize my immediate reflections. Firstly, I think that the required material interest to unite can only be deduced from our common need to survive Doomsday in the form of nuclear war and climatic or other ecological catastrophe; second, the necessary institutional innovation and objective is inherent in the internet as a memory institution, a library ; third, the political ideal must imply the denuclearisation of Europe (2) ; fourth, in the last few weeks, the gilets jaunes have, in their own way, shown the actuality of the demand for a refoundation of the EU.(3) Lastly, it is not easy to understand who would define and synthesize the campaigns, if not a European political subject with a European leadership.

(1) See the acceptance speech that the philosopher Étienne Balibar delivered on the occasion of the awarding of the Hannah Arendt 2017 Prize, "Hannah Arendt et la refondation européenne". The text is found in Balibar's blog at the journal Médiapart.

(2) See "DiEM25 proposals for the military denuclearisation of Europe" (draft).

(3) Étienne Balibar has also contributed an interesting analysis of the Yellow Wests movement, see his blog at Médiapart.