1. Has our need for security grown, or has our perception of danger and uncertainty simply changed?
Just like societies, individuals had, have, and will continue to have a need for security. This is in the nature of mankind. What is changing, first of all, is reality, as well as our perception of this changing reality (here, the perception is much more important than ‘reality’ itself, for this perception is ultimately the reference point for politics).
The perception of both our immediate and our general situation has indeed changed, and with it the feeling of danger and uncertainty. Without a doubt, globalisation and growing interdependencies contribute to this. The financial state of affairs, social situations, fears of losing social status, the individual’s impotence in the face of institutions, natural catastrophes (a result of the environmental damage that we ourselves have caused), terror, etc., all contribute to the feeling of uncertainty. The media play a central role in forming this perception, for they constantly (and most often in a superficial and indiscriminate way) confront us with bad news, thereby further increasing our feeling of uncertainty. To sum this up in an ‘objective’ manner, our need for security – and with it feelings of danger, helplessness, and impotence – has grown because the situation has become more complex.
2. In light of the current crisis, should more decision-making authority be transferred to European institutions/organs?
If the crisis causes member states to move toward closer cooperation, or indeed toward complete integration in the form of a fiscal-political union, then the decision-making authority will perforce have to be turned over to institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament. Whether this option will indeed be the preferred one remains to be seen. One thing is clear, however: continuing with the status quo is not an option if a way out of this crisis is to be found.