EU faces unity crisis over refugee inflows
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
World is now passing through a dangerous era when each big power is eager to showcase its military prowess by bullying its neighbors and others. USA, Russia and EU also make strenuous efforts to outsmart one another. The atrocious terror wars of NATO in Mideast has created life and death problems of for global Muslims. The result of this military trend has created global panic, crushed the living patterns of common people even in advanced nations.
USA became world’s richest nation with the end of World War one. Europe, unlike Asia, is already a developed continent in all respects due to environmental blessings along with colonialist loots for centuries. European Union has been in a crisis mess ever since it was formed by bringing all European nations into EU (possibly to equate the United States of America), except Turkey which is the only Muslim country in Europe. Many members of EU oppose the entry of Islamist Turkey into European Union maybe due mainly to civilizational reasons, though Turkey also promotes capitalism. Capitalism remains one of the main values Europe shares with USA.
Capitalism is the system EU members prefer, including France even though at times it talks about socialism. But now looks impossible to unite Europe on a capitalist basis without preserving the basis humanistic values the Europeans are fast losing.
Even as NATO militarizes much of Eastern Europe in a reckless confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, the power struggle between Berlin and Paris over refugee policy and influence in Eastern Europe is another ominous sign of a political breakdown. Since Berlin launched the re-militarization of its foreign policy in 2014, the European powers have announced plans to spend hundreds of billions more on their armed forces.
Though EU supports terror wars of USA, the harmful and extremely dangerous refugee outflows from iraq and Syria as continuous streams have exerted tremendous pressure on EU and each individual member to consider measures to contain and end refugee crisis. .
The fate of millions of desperate refugees fleeing societies ravaged by decades of US led imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria has become the focus of intensifying geo-strategic and economic conflicts between the European powers. It is triggering clashes over borders, economic policy and conflicting interests in various parts of the world, particularly Eastern Europe, that are deeply rooted politically and historically in the bloody contradictions of European capitalism.
One of the greatest dangers facing common people is that the intensification of international conflict is accompanied by the deliberate stoking up of militarism and chauvinism to divide the working class, as starkly seen in the attacks on immigrants.
Germany which officially leads the EU as its founding leader is committed to s capitalism and US led imperialism and does not want socialism to take roots in EU against the wish of the USA. EU has imposed austerity measures to wreck havoc in the lives of common people.
With European banks facing €1 trillion in bad loans and layoffs spreading throughout the EU, Germany could press for bone-crunching austerity from Greece to Italy to France should the sell-off on financial markets trigger an economic collapse in Europe. The six Eastern European countries (Macedonia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia) are traditional allies of Berlin that are economically closely integrated with Germany. These countries now are now opposed Merkel’s quota proposal on refugees. They agreed to help Macedonia close its border with Greece to block the passage of refugees into the rest of Europe.
The restoration of capitalism in Soviet Russia and across Eastern Europe readily prompted apologists for capitalism to claim that the end of the communist danger would create unity in Europe. But, far from being the cradle of peace, prosperity and unity, however, the EU is proving to be the midwife of a new eruption of chauvinism, austerity and war. In less than 25 years, the entire European project announced in 1992 with the passage of the Maastricht Treaty establishing the EU has begun to collapse now. Putin continues the the Stalinist bureaucracy in all respects, except in midnight knocks at doors.
The Munich Security Conference on 12-14 Feb brought together European and international leaders that exposed deep and bitter divisions wracking European capitalism. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ public attack on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy in the European refugee crisis, in which Valls demanded even more vicious attacks on refugees, was among the sharpest of conflicts that erupted. Having dismissed Merkel’s policy as “unviable in the long run” the day before the summit, Valls said France is not in favor of Merkel’s proposal to distribute throughout Europe hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing imperialist wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, on the basis of a quota system. Valls bluntly argued if refugees kept fleeing to Europe, the European Union (EU) would disintegrate politically and economically.
France says if the situation continues, the borders would keep going up in Europe to halt them, and international trade within Europe and the Schengen accords on free movement between European countries would collapse, with economic consequences fir Europe Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev called Berlin’s refugee policy “stupid.” After the summit British Prime Minister David Cameron traveled to Paris to discuss with President François Hollande the terms on which Britain would remain inside the EU, Valls warned that a British exit from the EU would mean an “irreversible dislocation” of Europe. France is trying to counterbalance the rising economic and military weight of Germany by making political appeals to the East to oppose Berlin.
In this fraught political context, anti-immigrant sentiment incited across Eastern Europe, in France, by parties ranging from Valls’ Socialist Party to the neo-fascist National Front (FN), and in Germany, by the CSU and politicians like Thilo Sarrazin, is setting Europe on a course to disaster.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will press other European Union leaders at a summit this week to work with Turkey to curb the flow of migrants. Merkel says it would be “ridiculous” to talk about setting new quotas to divide up migrants among EU nations when a previous quota has not yet been fulfilled. Instead, she told parliament on Wednesday that Europe should work with Turkey to improve the lives of Syrian and other refugees there. “Our goal is to drastically and lastingly reduce the number of migrants so as to better help those people who really need our assistance.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Europe is making progress in tackling the migrant crisis and praised Merkel for sticking to “long-sighted” policies in the face of criticism. In an interview published on Wednesday, a day before leaders hold a closely watched summit on the refugee crisis and on a reform deal to keep Britain in the 28-member bloc, Juncker said history would prove Merkel and her liberal refugee policy right.
Merkel is looking increasingly isolated with her demands for a fair distribution of migrants among EU members and for ensuring Turkey cooperates to stem the flow of people arriving in Europe.
As conflicts between the major European powers set Europe back onto a path of disintegration and war, the road to the unification of Europe passes through the struggle to unite the global common people for the overthrow of capitalism and establishment of humane socialism which also should be free from corruption in all of the countries of Europe, elsewhere.
A number of individual steps would together have an effect on the crisis. the number of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey was falling. But it would take time for all measures agreed in the past months in Europe to have an effect. It is the job of a head of government to stand by their policies even under pressure to prtect the common masses from further collapse.
Support in Germany for Merkel has dipped over her handling of the crisis, opinion polls show, although her conservative bloc is still the largest, and she also faces deep divisions in her coalition with Social Democrats and conservatives. The European migration policies Germany and france are pursuing might prevail. Merkel is determined to press ahead with her ideas to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl who pushed through German reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. “I am thinking above all of the long-sighted Germany reunification policy of Helmut Kohl. History has proved him right and it will prove Angela Merkel right.”
Apparently, with a prospective scenario of possible eventual EU collapse, some member sof EU has pressed for speedy negotiations with Turkey for its membership. Unlike several EU members with slow GDP, Turkey has been making considerable progress in the economic domain, despite all problems it is facing in recent times ever since it broke ties with israel over aidship attack on the Sea belonging to Palestine.
Turkey has become the European Union’s fifth largest trade partner in 2015, according to data released by Eurostat. The EU exported goods worth 2.04 trillion euros ($2.27 trillion) in 2015, while total imports stood at 1.79 trillion euros. In 2015, Turkey’s exports to the EU rose to 79 billion euros from 75 billion euros, a six percent rise. Turkey’s imports from the EU surged to 61.6 billion euros, a rise of 13 percent.
The advance in both export and import numbers push the Turkey-EU bilateral trade volume to 140.6 billion euros from 128.9 billion euros, up nine percent from a year earlier, making Turkey surpass Norway as the EU’s fifth top trade partner. Norway’s trade volume with the EU was down to 123.2 billion euros in 2015 from 135.3 billion euros a year earlier, declining nine percent. The USA retained the title of the EU’s top trade partner in 2015, with the bloc’s exports to the U.S. reaching 369.5 billion euros and imports at 246.2 billion euros. Both exports and imports to the U.S. rose by 19 percent. The EU’s second-largest trading partner was China in 2015. The EU’s exports to China were worth 170.4 billion euros, while imports were 350.3 billion euros. After China came Switzerland, Russia and Turkey.
Yet, Germany is not inclined to take an Islamic Turkey into the fold of EU which is now a union of Christian nations with anti-Islam instinct with their media promoting islamophobia as their core policy. The current anti-Turkey EU members feel with Turkey inside the EU, they will have to considerably tone down its anti-islamic tirade. They should first give up hatred for islam and Muslims, very tactfully perpetrated by the act of Sept-11 hoax in order for invading and destabilizing Afghanistan and iraq.
Author believes that humanity has a right to know whole truth.