Head to Head

Europe: Is the Union over?

Viviane Reding, the former vice president of the European Commission, on austerity, democratic deficit and Ukraine.

“There has been no unelected prime minister in Europe. We are not banana republics. We are democracies,” argues Viviane Reding, the former vice president of the European Commission and fierce defender of the European Union.

But are European institutions truly democratic? And are the EU’s austerity policies to blame for the rise of the far-right?

Europe for me is more than an economy. It is values. It is beliefs.

by Viviane Reding

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges the Luxembourg politician Viviane Reding and current member of the European parliament, on the future of Europe and asks why she believes that it is essential that Europe becomes a unified superpower.

We also explore whether Germany has imposed savage cuts on the so-called periphery countries, and whether the EU should take responsibility for the Ukraine crisis.

On the rise of the extreme left and right, her advice to Europe’s politicians is to remain true to themselves, saying: “Never try to bypass somebody from the right or from the left because people will always vote the original. Be yourself. Stand for your ideas.”

Joining this discussion are Margot Parker, a member of the European parliament for the anti-European UK Independence Party; Professor Costas Lapavitsas, from SOAS University in London and author of Crisis in the Eurozone; and Professor Stephen Haseler, the director of The Global Policy Institute in London.

To watch this episode on Youtube click here