Reflecting on the status the civil society enjoys in the European Union and comparing it to the majority of countries on the rest of the planet, it’s easy to see that ours has the highest standard of living.

Political participation is free. And the rights of all minorities, be it ethnic, religious or gender, are respected. Even when those rights are threatened in some EU member states, it is condemned by the majority of the political spectrum.

Comparing the economies and the possibilities of success of the average citizen, it is evident that class barriers are less rigid in the European Union and that every citizen has the right to dream of a better future. In addition, worker’s rights (although attacked by advocates for a total free market) are protected more than in any other place on the planet.

Thinking about how EU societies and the rest of the planet perceive climate change and about how much we are paying globally, there is no doubt (once more) that our home is the most sensitive and the most concerned.

This is the EU. A union that respects human beings more than economic wealth. This is because our continent enjoys a long history of full political participation, freedom, workers’ rights, respect for the vulnerable, economic possibilities and concern for the future.

In fact, most of the big countries on other continents, such as China, Russia or India, it is worth are struggling with a complete lack of freedom in politics, minority and workers’ rights and in economic opportunities for the average citizen.

We can also consider how most of the countries on other continents (including the United States) treat the environment and evaluate the risk of climate change for all and try to avoid accepting concrete measures to protect the planet. Here we can see that in Europe we are once again trying to put the interest of citizens above the profit of the multinationals.

Of course, the EU is not a perfect Utopia. It is a unique political experience in a continent that was always ravaged by wars. A continent, which despite its violent past, gave political, economic, social, ethical and scientific ideas on which today’s world is based.

The EU has managed to stop wars between single states, but failed in continuing the welfare policies of the post war period – policies that characterised our home and distinguished it in respect to the rest of the world.

The bloc also succeeded in achieving the highest level of living standards for a considerable part of its citizens, but failed to eradicate poverty and homelessness.

The EU has a lot of successes and a lot of fails. But the successes are far more important than its failures.

Of course, the EU is not a perfect Utopia. It is a unique political experience in a continent that was always ravaged by wars. A continent, which despite its violent past, gave political, economic, social, ethical and scientific ideas on which today’s world is based.

What is more, the EU realises its failures and the majority of the political forces want to address them – some in a more moderate way and others in a radical one.

In brief, it is better and safer to live in the EU than in any other part of the globe. The EU is our house and we must protect it. Especially now that the EU is under a combined attack that threatens to obstruct the process of integration even if such a process is very slow.

The enemies are active inside and outside Europe. The former want destabilization, easier access to the EU funds and impunity for any blow against our values and the latter aims to a general political destabilization for its own interests.

We are talking of the far-rights and the nationalists, in rise because of the lack of EU to prevent the social effects of the austerity measures of the past. They exploited in maximum the pain and the anguish of the vulnerable for their own political games and infected parts of our societies with hatred and disdain for the EU. The Germans of the AfD, the French of the National Rally or the Italians of the racist League are all against the core concept of the EU. They aim to the demolition of the EU and its replacement by rival national states with tough laws on race and on minorities.

Last year the Austrians and the Italians far-right parties arrived quite in a conflict because of the German speaking minority living in Italy. The far-right League multiply its hate speech and its racist acts. Two examples that reveal how they imagine a Europe under their boots.

In brief, it is better and safer to live in the EU than in any other part of the globe. The EU is our house and we must protect it. Especially now that the EU is under a combined attack that threatens to obstruct the process of integration even if such a process is very slow.

We are talking also of the ruling elites in a number of EU member states such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania etc. Their ruling parties have a totally distort idea of what EU is. For them EU is not a union based on principles, principles that this elites sign and accepted as its own a short time ago, but a huge chest offering money. In fact while leading politicians of this countries are under investigation for crimes of corruption or attacks against the core values of the EU, their governments systematically undermines EU efforts to face crucial problems. They hysterically resist in any EU plan to solve the refugee and the migration problems. They make their own choices in regard to the foreign policy by offering their friendship to Vladimir Putin and by ignoring EU policies in front of the Russian aggression. They obstruct the ratification of the European Public Prosecutor, an institution that is aimed to fight corruption. Their goal is to have stronger nation states and open EU safes.

Europe was always considered by the Russian elite as its major rival. It is the same now. Putin’s Russia includes in its foreign policy the destabilization of the EU. By that will be free to control at will parts of the former Soviet Union and to play lucrative games in the Middle East and the Balkans.

In its anti-EU policy Russia applies a very successful weapon: disinformation (a Soviet weapon as well) which in our world of internet and social media became easier through the industry of fake news.

Russia has also a powerful ally inside EU. The far-right parties they are openly declared in favour of Putin’s expansionist policies and they are clearly favoured by Russia’s disinformation practices.

We must explain that abstention works directly against EU. That abstention means participation in favour of the demolition of the EU. It is for that, this time we must vote and through our vote protect the EU.

Next May EU citizens will elect their representatives for the European Parliament. The result will be of a great significance. Although according to the polls the democratic and pro-EU political forces will have the majority of the seats a further rise of the anti-EU parties will be a negative development.

The far-right parties have any interest to push their supporters to actively participate in the next EU elections. Giving the high percentages of abstentions of the previous EU elections, a mass participation of the far-right could help the growth of its seats.

We must explain that abstention works directly against EU. That abstention means participation in favour of the demolition of the EU.

It is for that, this time we must vote and through our vote protect the EU.