Less than 25 years after its announcement and signature, the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992, seems that has “somehow” failed as the whole European project has began to collapse. At that time, shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the capitalist restoration in Eastern Europe , capitalism apologists claimed that the end of the communist threat would create a stronger unity in Europe . Far from being the cradle of unity and prosperity, the EU appears to be a new eruption pole of chauvinism , austerity and cold war tactics.
We can’t talk about a “Union “and even less of a European one the last months. When the main principles and values of the EU are thrown out of the “european window” , in the light of this new refugee – migrant crisis , how can we talk about supporting European integration and ensuring a high level of well-being among Europe’s citizens?
— Monica Mahjoubi (@monicamahjoubi) 7 Février 2016
Europeans have endured years of unemployment and underemployment, stagnating or falling living standards, and cuts to state services on a scale ranging from steep to decimation. The disintegration of Syria has sent a tidal wave of human misery crashing over the country’s borders, some of it lapping on the shores of the European continent. And already the populist, anti-immigration right is in a strong position, from Sweden to France, Greece to the Netherlands.
According to TheGuardian, anybody can predict the next economic crisis and go on to claim vindication, but here is what we know. We never got over the last crisis: we remain in the aftermath, a lost decade, and governments will have far more limited options if another meltdown happens. In the eurozone – where membership of a single currency leaves less room for manoeuvre, and years of spending cuts have meant extensive social and economic devastation – around one in 10 remain out of work. It is especially bleak for the young: over a fifth are without work; in Greece and Spain, the level remains nearly half; in Italy, nearly 38%; in France, over a quarter.
Who’s winning this crisis? Europe’s far right, already feeding off the despair of economic crisis and a backlash against refugees fleeing violence from the Middle East. Where once the principal target was Jews, now it’s Muslims.In austerity-ravaged Greece, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn terrorises immigrants. Even in Germany – which, in the postwar period, has resisted the rise of the far right – the populist hard-right Alternative für Deutschland has growing support. These new politics will lead Europe to a new division and chaos.
The Economic Collapse
When the euro ,the common currency in 19 out of the 28 European Union countries, entered as the new and only European currency, there was a sense that we had already taken a big step toward economic and ultimately political integration.
On the economic level, when the euro was introduced, every national government continued to act as though the common currency were a national currency. No institution controlling financial policies was active in reality. As a result, some of the countries in the euro zone – and not just the bloc’s southern members – fell deep in economic crisis.
Despite all the talk about “recovery”, the euro zone is a picture of stagnation. Data from the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey suggests that its GDP will have grown by 1.5% in 2015, but the palpable relief of analysts has been tempered by the fact that over the same period the European Central Bank (ECB) had pumped €1.1 trillion into European banks.
The underlying situation is that of a complete and utter impasse. In short, the banks and large corporations are sitting on billions of euros, preferring to speculate on stock and currency markets rather than invest in production because there is no profit to be made from it.
The Visegrad’s Group anti-Eu policies
The Visegrad group is made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. It was founded 25 years ago to promote the European integration of these four former Communist states. They joined the European Union in 2004. Now, though, they seem more set on promoting European division.
Visegrad group now want to solve the refugee problem by themselves. To do this, they want to seal off the Balkan route. Hundreds of refugees are still reaching Greece from Turkey every day, and from there they travel north via Macedonia. As the EU country they arrive in, Greece should be responsible for processing their asylum applications. But Athens feels overwhelmed, and is just letting most of the refugees travel on.
Racism in Polish Magazine, New Europe ?? pic.twitter.com/mXXuWyyA37
— hugin (@_hugin_) 19 Février 2016
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban says they have no choice. "If it had been up to us, the region would have been sealed off long ago," he said recently. Lajcak, the Slovakian foreign minister, told Der Spiegel that "as long as there is no joint European strategy, it's legitimate for the states along the Balkan route to protect their borders. We're helping them do that." Orban believes that in doing this he is not just serving particular interests but fulfilling a greater European mission. "We must safeguard the security of the continent," he has said. The Visegrad leaders don't seen their demand as putting pressure on Macedonia and other states along the Balkan route, but as supporting them. The Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka speaks of it as "solidarity" with the countries of the western Balkans.
If FYROM and Bulgaria really do close their borders with Greece, this would effectively exclude Greece from the border-control-free Schengen zone. For Greece, the sealing of its northern border would mean it ends up stuck with the refugees. The Greek government is already trying to brace the country for this possibility.Italy, another country where many refugees set foot in the EU for the first time, is warning that exclusion will set a precedent.
— The Greek Analyst (@GreekAnalyst) 20 Février 2016
Is this what the future of Europe seems like?
Xenophobia, nationalism, Islamophobia and racism, as well as Europhobia and homophobia, violently entered European citizens daily life, despite the fact that all of these are alien to their post-war European culture.
— Thembani Mhambi (@thembzc) 21 Décembre 2015
Therefore, as the EU shows faintheartedness policy to create robust institutions and promote the process of the consolidation of the European Institutions because of refusal set by individual national interests of its Member States ,EU remains an imperfect creature , whose unity will always be questioned in times of crisis.
— One Europe (@One1Europe) 8 Avril 2015
Sources: DW.de, LeMonde.fr, The Guardian.Com