We will be voting on Sunday to elect our representatives in the European Parliament but the toxic and polarised climate that has prevailed in our country and others has not permitted a substantial debate on the problems bedeviling the European edifice.

Although the European Union was organised as a post-national structure that would leave behind the trauma, wounds, and hecatombs of dead from the bloody wars of the past, it did not manage to transcend the nationalisms that left their mark on European history.

Despite the major steps that were taken, the economic crisis and the enormous changes that were ushered in by globalisation led to the revival of nationalist outbursts.

We have experienced this in our country, as the EU was considered for the most part responsible for all the ills of the crisis.

SYRIZA and its leader took a leading role in establishing that skewed interpretation of the causes of the crisis.

They started out by demonising the EU and then beat a hasty retreat when they realised that their stance led to an impasse, but they never abandoned their ideological fixations.

We see that today when PM Alexis Tsipras spews invective against the elite and neo-conservatism in Europe.

Undoubtedly, Europe is fraught with antagonism, hegemonic currents, national priorities, and complex compromises, and often its leaders proved unable to rise to the occasion.

Despite all that, Europe remains our common home in a fractured and exceedingly competitive world and it is nearly the only region on the planet that respects democratic institutions and the rule of law even as it protects social advances and remains devoted to its multi-cultural character.

It is easy to put down the EU but difficult to find a more secure refuge in our tumultuous world.

No country – and especially Greece – can on its own ensure better conditions for its citizens and economy in the hugely competitive world in which we live.

It would be well to remember that nationalist dreams and claims were diachronically the source of many ills.

Unless one proceeds with blinders, the Europe that we wound and which many work to undermine and degrade remains our only choice.