But the world is changing and will be very different in the next decades. The harsh reality is that we either all adapt or fail.
One would naturally put all the blame in the corrupt and decadent national governments of Europe. They do not present the reality and how the EU works to the citizens, in order to safeguard their own political ambitions and the interests of national elites.
As result, the EU is often used as a scapegoat by them, while the citizens have a very distorted view on how things work on European level. Most politicians continue to use EU membership as a platform to promote not necessarily their voters' interests, rather their own agenda.
We haven't seen many national heads of government, openly speaking for the EU and its role in modern Europe. There has been little praise by any European prime minister or a member of his cabinet, of the importance and achievements of the EU.
Most of them prefer to stick to populism and feed national agendas, maintaining the focus of their citizens on national issues.
Yet they now seem to fear the growing German hegemony over the continent. They could of course compete with Germany for leadership, by actively showing involvement, interest and ambition in the European project, instead of blaming the Germans of "taking over".
The problem is that Germany is building up its economy to the detriment of the other surrounding, weaker countries.
That is not a reason for them to want to leave the EU, or hate and fear Germany altogether. European nations of the periphery should unite and place this pressure on the EU institutions to stop Germany from dominating and start sharing and cooperating. Or at least limit its force and dominance.
If they remain disengaged and divided, they can have no expectations from Germany to "save" them or take their needs into consideration, while trying to keep Europe as a relevant player on the new global reality.
Our continent at the moment is in dire need of leadership and unity, that only Germany is seeming to be keen on. All European national governments must be forced by us, the citizens, to get vocal on Europe and engage fully with the European project, integrating further our countries with each other.
Further integration is either we like it or not, the safest bet in securing our continent's wealth and stability in the future.
Alternatively European economies and societies risk being broken up and becoming even less competitive. Going back to individual states, could mean that only few will survive the impending global competition. Not all European countries have the resources or capability to stay relevant.
While being independent and making your own decisions seem more appealing on every country's electorate, we seem to ignore that the world is changing. Europe is not the center of the globe anymore and in the future, it will become inevitably less dominant.
So what will it be; isolationist, protectionist, conservative and nation centric mentality and policies, or should Europe be preparing for a more integrated and globalized world. Can nationalism save us, our way of living and our societies?
Let us not be fooling ourselves anymore,postponing important decisions that can guarantee our future generations' prosperity. We need to make up our minds and take responsibility for our own decisions. Blaming the EU or our governments is easier but in the end, we vote for our own leaders and we still have a voice and power.
Change is always scary but as it is inevitable, it is preferable to get engaged and contribute to our countries' and societies' evolution and reformation, rather becoming an obstacle. Will Europe look better in the future as a divided continent, with ever competing small states for the little resources we have left?
Or will it look better as a community of integrated, but sovereign nations that share resources while promoting prosperity and stability for every one in the continent? We should be striving to create an equal continent, of equal nations, comprised of equal societies and equal individuals. And that has never been achieved by nationalism and populism.