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European Union: Reorganization after the crisis

The President of the EU Commission has a dream. In a newspaper article, Ursula von der Leyen lists cross-border support measures in Europe and concludes from this that European solidarity is permanent. She was “certain that Europe would soon be on firm feet again. And together ”.

The dream is reminiscent of the many historical projects for a common Europe that, based on an imaginary, all-embracing solidarity, should lead to a federation or even a federal state. For example, the Abbé de St. Pierre project, which proposed a “Senat d'Europe” almost three hundred years ago. Old Fritz dismissed this at the time with a mocking remark to Voltaire: “Abbot Saint Pierre sent me a beautiful work on the method of establishing and maintaining eternal peace in Europe. The matter would be very useful if only the approval of the European princes and some similar petitessen were not missing. "

Europeanism failed the reality test
They are still missing today, the petitessen. Because in the Coronavirus emergency, the European princes first and rightly thought of protecting their own subjects. The dream of Europe came afterwards. And even in the discussion about European measures in and after the crisis, Europe primarily serves as a means of saving itself, keyword Eurobonds. Here need becomes a means of blackmail. Because there are enough other ways. The ECB doesn't leave anyone hanging anyway , the EU budget has its reserves, the European Investment Bank can also put a few bills on top.

The President's dream of the United States of Europe is faced with hard facts. Europeanism has failed the reality test of general utility for the security of peoples. It is still the case that the common good is measured by the yardstick of the nations. This does not preclude cross-border cooperation and there are numerous institutions for this, from the UN to bilateral agreements in border regions. In Europe, the interdependence has progressed so far that Udo Di Fabio no longer talks about a confederation of states, but about a "union of states".

When it comes down to it, Europe reaches its limits
But one of the lessons from the Coronavirus crisis will be: When it comes to the crunch, the security of citizens, the habitats and shelters with their own identities, Europe is reaching its limits in two ways. There are both geographical and operational boundaries.

Ideologists rarely think about precaution or prevention. They consider their ideologies a panacea. On this point, however, not only the Commission, but also the governments in Europe simply failed. Everyone was warned. Even officially in Germany. A fovernment report from December 2012 created a “risk analysis for civil protection” with astonishing precision.

Already in the second term of office of the Merkel government one was informed that there could be problems with the means of protection for the population, for the medical staff, for the hospitals. In any case, the Federal Republic of Germany has overslept appropriate storage of masks, ventilators and beds.

Nobody can say that he was not warned
The same applies to Italians, Spaniards, British and French. Nobody can say that they were not warned. Neither did the Americans. The CIA regularly publishes analyzes of upcoming crises. They did so in 2008, and their report was also published in Europe. In it, it was warned of a virus from China that could kill millions of people due to a lack of therapeutic options (medication) and prevention options (vaccinations). The pages read like a protocol from the past, which records the current situation.

Taking such reports seriously and getting governments to take action would have been, and still is, a coordination task for the Commission. Because pandemics are limitless dangers, the defense of which must be coordinated supranationally, similar to NATO in the case of military dangers.

Coordination could then also include centrally recording intensive care beds in the EU and showing options for relocations. Then, for example, in the initial phase, patients would not have had to be flown from the heavily affected Mulhouse to Toulon instead of moving them to nearby Freiburg, which was less busy.

The union of states can be useful
The European Union of States can be useful. The ideology of open borders is not. Neither total isolation nor total community are the solution. Coronavirus shows us that international cooperation and national sovereignty remain the royal route for Europe. You will have to think more intensively about the distribution of competences between region, nation and European Union and in this sense you will also have to take Eastern Europe more seriously.

Even more: the first contours of a geopolitics according to Coronavirus are emerging. Globalism, with its worldwide division of labor, has made some nation-states dependent on China in their hunt for the cheapest production costs. It is now a vengeance that Europe mainly had protective clothing and medicines manufactured there. The Chinese Communist Party does not have the common good in mind, but world domination.

If one does not learn geopolitical lessons for the reorganization of Europe and the international world from this crisis, the virus could also infect the EU as a whole and bring it closer to suffocation. That would no longer be petitessen.

Junge Freiheit
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