How can Europe be united once more?
With Brexit, the UK will become the first country to leave the EU next year. Many see this as the climax of a long-standing process of alienation within the European community of states. The press discusses the cracks that divide the continent today, and how they could be filled.
Split into rational and emotional countries
More and more countries are falling behind economically due to policies that are less and less driven by rational criteria, Rzeczpospolita points out:
“There is much evidence of a 'rift' between rational and emotional countries running through Europe. The latter are characterised by low investment levels and high consumer expectations, for which they pay with increasing dependence on international financial markets. These, in turn, are shaped by rational countries. The group of emotional and dependent countries is growing rapidly: in 2011 it consisted only of Greece, in 2017 there were already six more countries: Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Slovakia. There are many signs that Poland will soon join this group.”
Europe, believe in yourself!
To pave the way for greater unity and enthusiasm the EU must display more self-confidence, former Spanish foreign minister Ana de Palacio demands in Die Presse:
“The call for Europeans to 'believe in themselves' may sound naive and simplistic. But it is a prerequisite for effective action. This does not mean pursuing some grand federalist platform or making unrealistic promises, such as the formation of a European army. On the contrary, the last thing the EU needs is more inflated rhetoric and impossible pledges. Its failure in the past to deliver on such promises has contributed to today's overwhelming sense of helplessness and cynicism. Instead, the EU needs to make concrete, incremental progress to boost its credibility. Here, there is reason to be hopeful.”