Sunday, June 4, 2017

Europe of “Two Speeds” Implies there’s Inferior Members within the Union


Recently, Der Spiegel released an eight pages long report drafted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy that explained Berlin’s position on the EU Cohesion policy after 2020. This report proposes a redistribution of financial wealth between the rich and poor EU members that must take place over the next seven years.

Currently, the EU has mostly been providing financial support to the Eastern European states, that are now being accused of their reluctance to admit refugees and of continuous violation of the basic values of the EU. It’s been reported that the Polish national government has been the biggest troublemaker from the point of view of the European Commission. In general, both Brussels along with most developed European states are getting increasingly dissatisfied with sings of insubordination shown by Eastern European states. For more than a month, politicians from several countries of Western Europe, including the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, have been demanding financial sanctions to be introduced against those unwilling to bow before Brussels. Finally, a proposal to reduce the amount of financial assistance provided to those countries was made by the European Commission, reports Der Spiegel.

It seems that the European Union is going to undergo a radical reform. Germany proposes to divide the EU into two parts: the ruling center and the subjected periphery. There are serious reasons to believe that the practical implementation of such an idea will not just prevent all of the EU states “safe and prosperous” but result in the gradual disintegration of the European Union as a result.

In spite of the fact that we hear arguments that such steps are necessary to ensure the future of the European Union, since they are allegedly aimed at preserving its unity and integrity, those controversial measures give rise to an ever increasing number of disputes in the so-called European family. The main obstacle standing in the way of everyone’s prosperous future is the initiative of “Europe of different speeds” introduced and promoted by Germany. This concept has already been supported by France, Italy, Spain and other Western European countries. However, such states like Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary and the Baltic are vigorously opposing this initiative. Some Scandinavian countries don’t seem to crazy about it as well.

Note that the idea of introducing “different speeds” in the EU first appeared in the twentieth century. It lies in the alleged possibility of coexistence of various states with different degrees of integration into the European community. It goes without saying that the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has already pledged his support to the idea of “two speeds”, which will effectively divide Europe into two blocs.

Those calls have quite predictable led to the Eastern Europe states losing all political restraint, since they were forced to feel like outcasts, who are not good enough to be allowed to make serious decisions. Those states that are now being publicly described as “inferiors” are afraid of being pushed aside by the founding states, Le Figaro notes. In fact, their outrage has never been so dramatic. We are witnessing Europe being sawed into pieces, but this time it’s not Russia that is diving the continent, notes the Bulgarian newspaper Sega.

According to the member of the European Parliament from Hungary, György Schöpflin, this recent attempt to revive Europe of the 1950s seems to be some kind of inappropriate nostalgia.

The Eastern European states are not simply opposing Brussels’ migration policies, they protest against the quotas that Germany wants to impose upon them. Those states are not particularly happy when they are demanded to allocate additional funds from their respective budgets to buy more arms as well. They bitterly oppose the policy of “double standards”, when Western enterprises disregard the interests of local manufacturers. It goes without saying that Brexit has aggravated the latent tension that exists between the two parts of the continent even further.

In turn Latvijas Avize claims that Europe has been divided into “two speeds” a long time ago, stressing that there’s an insulting practice of dividing people on classes across the EU. The situation is now being aggravated even further by consumer experts from Slovakia, who have proven through tests that the same goods that were bought in Slovakia and Austria differ drastically in their quality. Thus, the existence of “second-class” Europe has already been proven by scientific methods, the newspaper notes. Moreover, there is also Europe of the “third grade”, which is Ukraine, where a person is incapable of buying a decent cup of coffee or tea, no matter what sort of international brands he buys. In this regard, the publication expresses the hope that politicians of the periphery will have the courage to slow down this European project of “two speeds”.

Europe can be compared to a bicycle, notes Sueddeutsche Zeitung. If you’re not pedaling all the time, the force of gravity draws it to the ground. It may ride, or it my fall, but there’s no third option.

These days the force of gravity is being felt across the EU more than ever. Almost everywhere in Europe those supporting the leave movement that is rapidly gaining momentum. The British are already dropping out, the Poles and Hungarians are beginning to move in this direction. The reason for the future disintegration of the European Union will be Germany’s dominance and the pressure it applies on individual EU countries, as it’s been announced by the leader of the ruling party Polish “Law and Justice” party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

In turn, Bloomberg would note that:
The idea of a European Union of many speeds, in which nations progress towards a union at their own pace, might be looked upon as something of a blackmail tool for the EU’s Big Four – Germany, France, Spain and Italy – to force the other 23 EU members to accept their leadership.
Meanwhile, the European Union has already started to get divided into “two sorts”, as the aid to the countries of Eastern Europe, is being reduced. This is being explained by the fact that the huge financial injections into the countries of Eastern Europe and Greece did not bring any results, since the level of development of the latter two failed to catch up to the numbers shown by the leaders of the union.
 

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