Some thoughts around Brexit

On Friday morning I was shocked, probably just like everybody else. In the course of the day, that shock became anger. As such, I refrained from writing about Britain’s imminent quitting the European Union, fearing that it would only be a rant. Over the weekend, I have spoken with people about it, heard different opinions, read analyses, laughed about jokes and sorted my thoughts. This post might still be somewhat rant-ish, but very much less than if I had written it on Friday or Saturday (luckily I was busy otherwise). I will not deal with Brexit as such, there are already enough analyses about this disaster, but I will focus more on related thoughts about society, democracy and politics.
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Schengen has some inconvenient consequences

While Europe’s ongoing economic crisis has revealed fundamental construction errors of the economic and monetary union, the migrant crisis reveals similar faults with Europe’s borders-be-gone Schengen scheme. If the Schengen accords are to survive – and by all means they should – we have to come to terms with the consequences of near-abolishing all internal borders, even if they are hard to accept for politicians and voters. Until now, these consequences were either unknown or ignored, a laziness we can no longer afford. Schengen is an integral, visible and practical part of the peaceful European unification and has to be preserved for practical, political and economic reasons. The pursuit of ever-closer union entails costs, some of them political, such are Schengen’s costs. But as the personal and economic benefits of the accords greatly outweigh the costs, European politics and voters must accept a certain sovereignty loss. Although Schengen is over twenty years old, its completion was not pressing until last year’s onset of the migrant crisis – or it was not seen as pressing. However, it is pressing now. Continue reading Schengen has some inconvenient consequences

Keine Waffen für Syrien

Ich dachte ja eigentlich, die Dreistigkeit und Inkompetenz des französischen Präsidenten Hollande hätte mit seiner Forderung nach einem Wechselkursziel für den Euro den Höhepunkt erreicht. Doch dann schlägt er heute vor, die Gegner des Assad-Regimes in Syrien mit Waffen zu beliefern. Als ob noch mehr Waffen den Bürgerkrieg unblutiger machen würden.

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Wissen die eigentlich, was eine Fiskalunion bedeutet?

Das Handelsblatt schreibt über einen Leitartikel in der italienischen Zeitung “Sole 24 ore” von Chefredakteur Roberto Napoletano. Darin fordere dieser eine Fiskalunion, eine Bankenunion und Eurobonds. Ähnliche Stimmen hört man aus Madrid und Brüssel.
Dabei stellt sich mir die simple Frage, ob man in den Krisenländern und der EU-Kommission überhaupt weiß, was eine Fiskalunion eigentlich bedeutet.
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