Let’s hope so..!
European Union: The End?
by Judith Bergman • March 21, 2020 at 5:00 am
- When an entire continent is in the midst of a highly contagious virus epidemic, solidarity becomes a more complex issue. Every state inevitably considers whether it can afford to send facemasks and protective equipment that might be needed for its own citizens. In other words, every state considers its own national interest first. In the case of Italy’s appeal for help, EU member states made their own interests their highest priority. This is classic state behavior and would not have caused any outrage prior to the establishment of the European Union.
- While such revelations may not spell the immediate end of the European Union, they certainly raise questions about the point of an organization that pledges solidarity as a founding principle, but abandons that principle the moment it is most called for.
- The current crisis on the Greek-Turkish border has shown the EU not only as unhelpful, but an actual liability: The EU has left an already overwhelmed Greece to deal with the migrant crisis — manufactured by Turkish President Erdogan for political gain — on its own… On top of Europe’s attempts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, ordered that Greece must allow the migrants that Erdogan transported to the border to apply for asylum.
- If the EU were to approve visa-free travel for Turks – or anyone who had the means to buy a Turkish passport – millions of Turks would be able to enter the EU legally and potentially “disappear” there. Already at breaking point, the EU would arguably become a very different kind of “European” Union with Turkey, a country of 80 million people, literally invited to enter Europe.
- All Erdogan needs to do now it sit back and wait for the EU, with Merkel at the helm, to meet his demands.
When Italy appealed to the EU for supplies of medical equipment at the beginning of its coronavirus crisis, it received exactly nothing. In addition, Germany and France even imposed bans or limitations on the export of facemasks and protective equipment. Pictured: Cleaning personnel in protective gear work in a tent of a new field hospital in Cremona, Italy on March 20, 2020. The field hospital is financed by the American evangelical
Christian NGO Samaritan’s Purse. (Photo by Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images)
Since the outbreak of coronavirus in Italy, Italians have learned that other European Union member states do not always practice the beautiful words that they like to preach — especially solidarity.
Solidarity is supposedly a fundamental principle of the European Union. It is enshrined in the EU treaties and the EU refers to it as one of its goals. According to article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, one of the two principal treaties of the European Union:
“The Union and its Member States shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a Member State is… the victim of a natural or man-made disaster. The Union shall mobilise all the instruments at its disposal… to assist a Member State in its territory, at the request of its political authorities, in the event of a natural or man-made disaster”.