Not enough attention is paid to young pro-democracy, pro-EU activists. They don’t make headlines, but they matter
So, as it turns out, the far right did not swamp Sweden in Sunday’s election. Beware doom-laden forecasts about Europe: sometimes they bear less relation to reality than to the ideology of those who seek to undermine the European project, have deep qualms about it, or just think it’s going to the dogs. Loud, scary headlines make for more clicks. Polarised discourses breed oversimplification. I’m not sure I’ve always avoided it.
But something else is at work in the way Europe is increasingly framed and distorted: an insidious Brexit-Trump lens is too readily slapped on to the old continent. The English-language international media play a big role in this. Taken together, they produce a “reading” of Europe in which the EU is headed for the scrapheap of history, sliding irrevocably towards a political crash in much the same way the UK and US did in 2016: a brutal, overnight departure from much of what pre-existed, and was up until then deemed secure. What’s happened to us is coming your way.