When something is wrong in Europe, anywhere in Europe the EU functions as the perfect scapegoat for national governments and politicians. We the voters are very quick in our great ignorance to follow. It can be about a single country's mismanaged economy, another country's corruption, poverty or, ironically a country's widespread nationalism.
The EU can be and has been a counterforce against all the above but is limited by nations that do not want to give the EU the needed transparency and control.
The EU is removing barriers and creating opportunities for common people, one example is the freedom of movement that simplifies and enables us to travel, study, work or settle within EU borders.
The free movement is frequently attacked by national politicians and nationalist movements.
The EU is in its nature a counterforce against the nationalist winds and against intolerance but the policy implemented within the Union are governed by the same governments who then blame their mistakes on the EU. A very strange and a rather bizarre situation.
European Parliament has a participatory power and lacks the ability to effectively control the " everyday " policy. Parliament however however the voters interests against the intergovernmental Council ( national governments ) and the Commission appointed by national governments. An example of how the Parliament has acted in voter interests is the ACTA agreement which was stopped by the Parliament.
Against this background, the EU must be democratised and reformed. But it can not be done if we the citizens don't understand the current systematics and the true purpose of the Union and of European integration
( unity in diversity ).
In the longer term, the schools has a huge responsibility in educating future voters but in the short term, we must demand more from politicians and institutions.
Today's Europe is sluggish, tired, and has a democratic deficit, but the EU is not to blame!