Monday, February 05, 2018

Germany and the future of the EU

This Politico EU article by Matthew Karnitschnig provides a succinct statement of a basic problem with the real existing European Union In German GroKo talks, not much love for Europe 02/02/2018:
The dirty little secret of German politics is that the population doesn’t really care that much. Europe has become a rhetorical prop — everyone is for it, at least in the abstract.

In a survey last month of Germans’ views of the most pressing political issues, the question of fixing Europe didn’t even register.

That may be because many Germans don’t think the EU is broken. Germany, with its strong economy and perpetual export surpluses, is the prime beneficiary of European integration.

While most in the country welcome measures to strengthen the EU’s external borders and other efforts aimed at keeping migrants at bay, they have less time for proposals such as one for a Europe-wide bank deposit insurance. Reforms that could put German treasure at risk remain politically difficult, even outside conservative circles.

The repercussions of the euro crisis may have convinced Europe’s elites that closer integration in the eurozone is the only way forward, but the bailouts in Greece and periphery countries have only deepened the German public’s skepticism.
This lack of a sense of European citizenship is one aspect of the "democratic deficit" in the EU. As long as German politicians in both the CDU/CSU and the SPD see the EU as an instrument for narrow German nationalism, the EU will contine to stumble it's way from crisis to crisis, with failure of the Union at the end of the road.